Study: Major Texas Cities Have Major Dropout Problem

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AUSTIN (AP) - One out of three Texas students never graduate -- and more students drop out than finish high school in the state's largest cities.

Those are the findings from education experts including the San Antonio-based Intercultural Development Research Association and
the Center for Education at Rice University.

The Intercultural Development Research Association says that statewide, more than two and a half (M) million students have dropped out of Texas high schools in the last 20 years.

Each graduating class loses about 120-thousand students from freshman year to senior year.

The statewide dropout rate is about 33 percent -- or 20 points higher than what the Texas Education Agency reports.

Experts warn that the high dropout rate will lead to economic and social problems.

With the prodding of Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and state Senator Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, the state spent $275 per high school student last year for dropout prevention and college preparation programs.

But critics say the program doesn't target communities who need
it the most.

Dewhurst says he agrees that a more targeted effort is needed
and plans to make it a priority during the legislative session.