Arizona working to improve high school graduation rates - Tucson News Now

Arizona working to improve high school graduation rates

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

High school graduation rates are getting better across the country.  A new study finds 80 percent of students are graduating on time.

But here in Arizona the rate needs some improvement. 

The graduation rate for Arizona high school students is 76 percent, just four points shy of the national average.  The study shows the group that still needs a lot more catching up is students from low-income households. 

According to the 'Building a Graduation Report' those students had a 71 percent graduation rate, which is eight points lower than higher-income households. 

Boys and Girls Club of Tucson organizers say it is their mission to get as many of these students to graduate from high school as possible.

When a student signs up for the program, they receive a membership card that has their future high school graduation date printed on it. 

Goel Ellis started with the Boys and Girls Club at seven years old, she is now 17 and will graduate early.  She says she owes staying focused to the people at the club. 

"When I started by journey here, I was a really shy person.  But the Boys and Girls Club handed me a lot of opportunities," said Ellis.  "I took advantage of them and it helped me get to be where I am today - winning multiple scholarships."

The following are graduation rates of the biggest school districts in Tucson: Tucson Unified - 77 percent; Sunnyside Unified - 73 percent and Amphitheater is 86 percent.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

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