The Manatee County Compulsory Attendance Pilot Project was implemented
on July 1, 1999. The project has given the state a model for reducing its dropout
rate. After four years the program has achieved a 73.8% graduation rate. That’s
a 17.6% improvement over 1998/99 and much better than the state as a whole.
The two main elements of the pilot program are:
- Raising the mandatory attendance age to 18.
- Cracking down on truancy.
The dropout prevention plan keeps kids in school, gives them a better chance at
graduation, and has had encouraging results:
- Prior to the inception of the project the dropout rate was 7.4%
- Since the program’s inception Manatee County’s dropout rate decreased
by 5.6%, while the State’s decreased by only 2.3%
- Attendance increased by 1.6% across the District
- In 1999, 20% of the dropouts were 16, however by 2003 that number had decreased
- When instituting the Compulsory Attendance Pilot Project, Manatee County’s
dropout rate was the second highest of 9 comparative counties
- As of 2003, Manatee County now has the lowest percentage of dropouts
- Using the same comparative counties for graduation rate, in 1999 Manatee County
- As of 2003 our standing is fourth highest, with graduation rates increasing by 17.6%
- Truancy is also being addressed in formal meetings with the parents and of course
on the enforcement side
We know as a community that kids belong in school and that this program is in line
with Florida's promise of leaving no child behind