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Montana’s Graduation Rate Reaches Record High

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More Montana students are graduating from high school than ever before. That translates into a stronger economy, higher wages, and more opportunities for Montana’s young people.

The 2015 Graduation and Dropout Report  shows Montana’s graduation rate reached another historic high in 2014-2015, 86 percent, breaking the previous record of 85.4 percent.

I’m proud to say the community-building work of Graduation Matters Montana is making a difference. Now, 53 Montana communities place an emphasis on the importance of graduating from high school and it’s clear that students across this state understand that a diploma is their key to a successful future.

Graduation Rates

In 2009, 2,272 students were dropping out of school, and the graduation rate was 80.7 percent. 

I saw those numbers and knew we must do better. That’s why I launched Graduation Matters Montana, a statewide initiative built on business and community support, to make sure more Montana students were graduating from high school prepared to succeed in the rest of their lives.

  • Montana’s dropout rate has been cut by more than a third since 2009.
  • Montana’s 86 percent graduation rate is the highest it’s ever been since OPI began tracking it in 2000.
  • More than 11,000 Montana students have taken the pledge to graduate from high school.
  • Private businesses and foundations have donated more than $1.3 million to the Graduation Matters Montana effort.

According analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Montana is likely to see significant economic gains as a result of more students graduating from high school. The Alliance estimates Montana will see a $6 million annual boost to the state’s economy because 540 more students graduated in 2015 than in 2009. Those graduates will contribute an additional $10.3 million in spending on homes, and a $700,000 increase in car sales.

I often tell people the most important piece of paper I ever received was my Browning High School diploma, because when Montana students succeed, each and every one of us benefits.

Superintendent, Denise Juneau Signiture
Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Instruction


Take the Pledge to Graduation