State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell says the drop out rate increased almost three percent in the 2008 - 2009 school year. It's up to almost 22 percent, and O'Connell blames reduced state funding.
"We're seeing larger class sizes, fewer classes being offered in music, the arts, career technical education. We have fewer counselors, fewer librarians, fewer school nurses, fewer teachers. The school year is being shortened in most school districts, summer school is practically extinct."
O'Connell says the good news is that the graduation rate increased slightly from the previous year, up to just over 70 percent.