ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The State of Florida has released its state-wide high school graduation rates for the year ending in June 2022. Overall, the state saw an increase in its graduation rate, but locally, Escambia County saw a decrease of 6.4 percent.

In neighboring county Santa Rosa, they saw their graduation rate go up one percent, from 88.9 percent to 89.9 percent.

In Escambia County, they saw their graduation rate drop from 84.8 percent to below 80 percent, at 78.4 percent.

The Department of Education explained that a comparison from 2018-2019 to 2021-2022 represents a “true apples-to-apples comparison, as the 2018-2019 school year was the last year prior to 2021-2022 that Florida’s statewide, standardized assessment requirements for graduation were in place without exemption waivers.”

During the 2020-2021 school year, Escambia County saw a graduation rate of 87 percent. Santa Rosa County saw 90.3 percent.

Looking at race, Escambia County’s white graduation rate was 84.7 percent. Their Black graduation rate was 67.4 percent, according to the Florida Department of Education.

The State of Florida saw an increase from 86.9 percent in 2018-2019 to 87.3 percent in 2021-2022.

“These graduation results are the culmination of the hard work and dedication of Florida’s teachers, students, parents and school leaders, along with Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to keep schools open for in-person instruction,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. said. “While many around the nation were lowering expectations and keeping at-risk students at a distance from their teachers and needed educational supports, Florida was empowering parents to make this decision and moreover Florida’s teachers stepped up to the plate and delivered for students who had learning gaps to overcome.”