According to the latest national data, Oregon continues to fall below nearly every other state in the union in regard to its graduation rate.
The National Center for Education Statistics ranked Oregon as 48 out of 50 in the nation. The only states with lower high school graduation rates are Nevada and New Mexico.
In 2016, Oregon graduated 74.8 percent of its seniors, Cottage Grove High School came in higher than the average, graduating 93.62 percent in the 2015-2016 school year. That percentage, however, is aided by the existence of an alternative high school in the area. Al Kennedy High School works to catch the students who drop-out of Cottage Grove High School and eventually, graduate them under the four or five-year graduation plan.
In 2016 more than 8,000 students in Oregon dropped out of high school, according to the report, while 3,307 earned their degree in five years.
South Lane School District has repeatedly said that graduation depends on students wanting to be in class. Once a student turns 18 years old in the state of Oregon, they are no longer required to attend school. Prior to that, students who habitually miss class can be cited for truancy and fined. At the end of 2016-2017 school year, South Lane School Board voted to allow students to be denied prom and the ability to walk at graduation if they were labeled as chronically absent students. The statistics for the 2017 drop-out rate are due out at the start of 2018 and will detail the number of students who have failed to complete high school since the changes went into affect.