LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The effects of the pandemic are still felt in Clark County schools when it comes to reading and math scores, as well as the high school graduation rate. This has sparked concern among Clark County School District leaders and parents as the racial graduation gap continues to widen.

Data presented at Thursday’s Clark County School District Board of Trustees meeting showed that the high school graduation rate districtwide was 81% for the 2021-2022 school year. That is a nearly 5% drop from the 2018-2019 school year.

“Our teachers, our leaders, are working really, really, hard. They’re very receptive to our feedback, and the work that we’re doing so, we look forward to improved results in the future,” CCSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Brenda Larsen-Mitchell told the trustees.

In the 2019-2020 school year, 72% of Black/African American students and 82% of Hispanic/Latino students graduated from high school.

Fast forward to the 2021-2022 school year, and that number dropped to 69% for Black/African American students and 80% for Hispanic/Latino students.

Asian students during that same school year had a 93% graduation rate, while white students were at 86%.

“So how are we even coming up district-wide with an 80% graduation rate, when more than half our students are not proficient? They can’t read, they can’t do math,” Anna Marie-Binder, a CCSD parent, said.

Many children fell behind during the pandemic with COVID closures and distance learning.

From 2020 to 2021, only 4% of students at CCSD showed proficiency in English and just 26% in math.

However, the graduation rate for CCSD’s magnet career and technical education schools is more than 90%.

“Continued investment in advanced coursework options will better prepare our students for future success,” Greg Manzi, an assistant superintendent with CCSD, said.

CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara will give his State of the Schools address on Thursday at 8:30 a.m., which will be live-streamed on the district’s website.