Special education graduation rates fall short of state goals


SIOUX FALLS (AP) – Special education student graduation rates are falling short of state goals, according to new state data.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported Friday that the South Dakota Department of Education released annual information this week that shows the state graduation rate was 72.14%, well short of the 85% target.

The graduation rate for special education students in the Sioux Falls School District, the state's largest district, was 75.56%. About three-quarters of special education students in that district are in regular classes 80% or more of the day.

The data considers students who have received a regular high school diploma in four years. It doesn’t reflect students with disabilities who graduate with a regular diploma but need additional time beyond four years to complete required coursework.

More than 22% of students who enrolled in special education are enrolled in higher education within a year of leaving high school, meeting the target of 15.5%.

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