Posted Date: 01/18/2023
According to new data released by the Kansas State Department of Education, the Kansas graduation rate for public high schools in 2022 increased to 89.1 percent, the highest graduation rate since the state adopted the current calculation rate in 2010.
The graduation rate also reached an all-time high for most major subgroups of students, including those who have historically struggled, such as those qualifying for free meals, students with disabilities and students with Limited English Proficiency.
The graduation rate for all students rose a full point from 88.1 percent in 2021 to 89.1 percent in 2022, after a 0.1 percent drop between 2020 and 2021 during the first year of the COVID pandemic. The graduation rate has increased by 8.4 percentage points since 2010.
Low-income students continue to graduate at lower rates but have made more progress. The average of male and female students eligible for free lunch graduating rose 14.3 percentage points from 2010 to 2022.
On average, completing more education results in higher earnings, more employment opportunities and less chance of poverty. As a result, state leaders have made educational attainment part of the state's top educational goals. The Kansas State Board of Education's "Kansans Can" goal to "lead the world in the success of each student" includes the outcomes of increasing high school graduation rates and increasing postsecondary educational attainment.
On average, Kansas high school graduates with no additional education earned $34,137 in 2021, compared to $30,350 for those who did not finish high school. Further, completing high school is generally required for additional postsecondary education, and each further step in education attained results in higher income.
As in other states, Kansas continues to have differences in graduation rates among lower-income students, students with disabilities, students learning English as a second language, migrant and homeless students and most racial minority groups graduating at lower levels.
However, since 2010, lower-achieving groups have been improving at a faster rate than the overall average of all students, which has narrowed the gaps among groups. All student groups but one have improved at least 6 percent since 2010. The exception – Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders – is so small it often fluctuates quite a bit from year to year; in 2021 this group was 6.9 percentage points higher than in 2010.
Many school leaders say increased school funding after the Gannon school finance plan was approved, targeted at-risk funds and, for the last two years, federal ESSER COVID relief funding has helped improve the graduation rates, especially for lower-achieving students.
This information can be found on KSDE’s Data Central site. Click on “Kansas K-12 Reports” and select “Grad Rate: 4-year Cohort.”