The number of students with disabilities graduating high school is up nationally, but newly released federal data suggest that outcomes for this population continue to vary by state.

The high school graduation rate for individuals with disabilities increased to 70.6% for the 2019-2020 academic year, according to a report out from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. That represents a jump from 68.2% the year prior.

The figures, which are the most recent available, account for those with disabilities who graduated with a regular diploma within four years.

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As in previous years, graduation rates for students with disabilities remained inconsistent across the country. At the high end, Oklahoma reported that 88.1% of these students graduated while Mississippi reported the lowest rate at just 55.4%.

The Education Department indicated that some of this variance is likely due to differences in how states “define and calculate for certain subgroups,” especially children with disabilities.

The National Center for Education Statistics report showed that the overall graduation rate for high school students during the 2019-2020 school year was 86.5%, up from 85.8% the previous year.

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