School Dropout Rate Falls To 10 Year Low

Johnston County Schools continues to focus on preventing students from dropping out of school. Based on the latest statistics, their efforts are paying off.

During the 2016-17 school year, 151 Johnston County high school students dropped out, down from 179 in 2015-16, and 206 in 2014-15.

Of the 151 students who quit school last year, 64% were males, 36% females.  One in three was an exceptional student and one in six were English language learners.

The majority of students who didn’t finish school were age 17. Tenth grade had the most drop outs followed by 9th, 12th, and 11th grades.

63 of the dropouts were white, 51 were Hispanic, and 27 were Black.

School officials said the majority of students quit school because of attendance issues. Second on this list was Lack of Engagement, followed by employment, moving, incarceration, an unstable home, childcare or pregnancies, academic issues, runaway, or psychological and emotion reasons.

“In Johnston County Public Schools it is a team effort to make sure our students graduate,” said Ray Stott, Student Services Officer for Johnston County Public Schools. “Our school social workers, school counselors and student advocates are on the front lines every day working with at-risks students to address their needs.”

According to Stott, the decision to drop out of school is not due to one single factor. It is the result of a process that often begins years before the actual event.

In the 2007-08 school year dropout numbers peaked at 428 students. In less than 10 years the numbers have decreased dramatically.  Johnston’s numbers are well below the statewide average.

Fewer students left school in 2016-17 at Clayton High, Corinth Holders, Princeton, SSS, South Campus, and South Johnston compared to 2015-16. Drop out numbers were up slightly at Cleveland High, North Johnston, and West Johnston High over the same period, but down overall for the district.

According to the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University, high school dropouts are eligible for only 10 percent of jobs and the demand for unskilled workers continues to decrease. High school dropouts are twice as likely as those with a diploma to live in poverty. The life expectancy for a high school dropout is six years less than a high school graduate. Seventy-five percent of state prison inmates and fifty-five percent of federal prison inmates did not complete high school.