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 to 6%
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 was 8th
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