Montana’s Graduation Rate Reaches Record High
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
More Montana students are graduating from high school than ever before. That translates into a stronger economy, higher wages, and more opportunities for Montana’s young people.
The 2015 Graduation and Dropout Report shows Montana’s graduation rate reached another historic high in 2014-2015, 86 percent, breaking the previous record of 85.4 percent.
I’m proud to say the community-building work of Graduation Matters Montana is making a difference. Now, 53 Montana communities place an emphasis on the importance of graduating from high school and it’s clear that students across this state understand that a diploma is their key to a successful future.
In 2009, 2,272 students were dropping out of school, and the graduation rate was 80.7 percent.
I saw those numbers and knew we must do better. That’s why I launched Graduation Matters Montana, a statewide initiative built on business and community support, to make sure more Montana students were graduating from high school prepared to succeed in the rest of their lives.
- Montana’s dropout rate has been cut by more than a third since 2009.
- Montana’s 86 percent graduation rate is the highest it’s ever been since OPI began tracking it in 2000.
- More than 11,000 Montana students have taken the pledge to graduate from high school.
- Private businesses and foundations have donated more than $1.3 million to the Graduation Matters Montana effort.
According analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Montana is likely to see significant economic gains as a result of more students graduating from high school. The Alliance estimates Montana will see a $6 million annual boost to the state’s economy because 540 more students graduated in 2015 than in 2009. Those graduates will contribute an additional $10.3 million in spending on homes, and a $700,000 increase in car sales.
I often tell people the most important piece of paper I ever received was my Browning High School diploma, because when Montana students succeed, each and every one of us benefits.
Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Instruction