LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The impact the coronavirus pandemic had on the Clark County high school graduation rate is now known.
The graduation rate dipped just over 2% dropping from 83.17% in 2020 to 80.94% in 2021. Clark County had the largest graduating class in the state with 20,792 students.
According to Nevada Parent Teacher Association president Rebecca Garcia, it’s a direct reflection of the educational experience during the pandemic. There were students who struggled with distance and hybrid learning. Some high school students had to get jobs when their parents were laid off or had health issues.
“We know that the pandemic hit students of color and students living in poverty far harder when it comes to education and academics than students coming from the middle class and upper-class families or white families,” she said.
The biggest drop — more than 4% — in the graduation rate was among students who speak English as a second language. That was followed by students who identify as American Indian/Alaska Native which experienced a drop of more than 2%.
There were increases in the graduation rate among two student populations. The graduation rate for homeless students increased by nearly 2% and the rate also increased for Black students by nearly 1%.
Overall, Nevada had a 1% drop in the graduation rate. The highest graduation rates were among career and technical education students who had a nearly 92% graduation rate. Out of Nevada’s, 17 school districts, 13 had students that graduated at a higher rate than the state average of 81.31%.
Nevada was not alone, at least 20 states report the pandemic negatively impacted the number the high school graduates.