Attrition and Dropout Rates in Texas
Texas public schools are losing one out of five students.
Each year, IDRA releases its attrition study. Attrition rates are an indicator of a school’s holding power, or the ability to keep students enrolled in school and learning until they graduate. Key findings from the latest study show the following.
- Texas is failing to graduate one out of every five students – which translates to losing 10 students per hour.
- The statewide attrition rate is 19%, meaning 19% of the freshman class of 2017-18 left school prior to graduating in the 2020-21 school year.
- At this rate, Texas will not reach universal high school education for another almost two decades in 2039.
- Schools are twice as likely to lose Latino students and Black students as white students before they graduate.
- In the last 33 years, Texas schools have lost a cumulative total of more than 4 million students from public high school enrollment prior to graduation.
- 125 counties had improved attrition rates since last year, 85 counties had higher attrition rates and 19 counties remained the same.
See reporter FAQs and resources regarding attrition and dropout data (and downloadable graphics)
Quick Links to IDRA’s Attrition Study Stories and Resources
News Release: Texas High Schools Reaches All-Time Low Attrition Rate, but Still Loses 80,000 Students – IDRA Study Gives a First Look at the Pandemic’s Effect on Attrition Rates – See news release
Attrition Study: Texas Public School Attrition Study 2020-21 – See pdf
Infographic: Texas public schools are losing one out of five students – See infographic
Infographic: 8 Types of Dropout Data Defined – See infographic page
Infographic: 6 Policies and Practices that Lead to Higher Dropout Rates – See infographic page
Trend graphs: See attrition rates and numbers over the last 10 years – Look up your county
Article: Preview of IDRA’s 36th Annual Texas Public School Attrition Study – A First Look at the Pandemic’s Effect on Attrition Rates – See article
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Report: College Bound and Determined – A report profiling what happens when a school district raises expectations for students instead of lowering them
Book: Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework
Overview of the Valued Youth Partnership program, which keeps 98 percent of students in school (PDF)
Ideas and Strategies for Action