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More students graduating from Lansing School District

Officials stand in front of a graphic showing an enrollment increase at Lansing Public Schools, behind a podium.
Arjun Thakkar
Superintendent Ben Shuldiner thanked administrators, teachers and school staff for helping the district improve its performance.

Like many schools, graduation rates in Lansing School District dropped during the pandemic.

But in the past two years, the district’s graduation rate has increased by 14%.

Now, over three-quarters of seniors are graduating, more specifically 76.37%, the highest rate in the district’s history.

“It says our kids can do it. Our faculty can do it. Our families can do it,” Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said.

He said the district brought in a new data system to track graduating students. “We knew exactly who was supposed to graduate, how many credits they had, and how many credits they needed”.

Graduation specialists were hired at the district and school levels. “They’re focused on the children who are supposed to graduate this year, who are in their fourth year, and making sure those students are going to make it through the finish line,” Shuldiner said.

Dropout rates for the district have dropped into the single digits, 8.73%, the lowest on record.

In 2019, almost 21% of students dropped out before graduation. In 2016, it was 30%.

“What it means is even when kids aren’t making it all the way through in four years, they’re staying with us,” Shuldiner said.

Statewide, four-year graduation rates are improving, marking the second-highest graduation rate recorded. Graduation requirements were lessened in 2020 because of the pandemic, with about 82% of students graduating in four years.

Dropout rates around Michigan are higher than in 2021, but lower than pre-pandemic rates.

Lieza Klemm is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in journalism with a concentration in broadcasting
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