PEMBROKE — Fewer Robeson County students dropped out of school during the 2012-13 school year, according to a new N.C. Department of Instruction report presented to the State Board of Education on Wednesday.
According to the Consolidated Data Report, 165 Robeson County students dropped out, 27 fewer students than did during the 2011-12 school year.. The county’s dropout rate fell from 2.71 to 2.34 percent.
Robeson County’s dropout rate has gone from 4.50 percent in 2008-09 to the 2012-13 rate of 2.34 percent.
“We are pleased to see the graduation rate continue to increase and the dropout rate continue to decline. I applaud all of our staff across the district for their hard work to continue to support our students,” Johnny Hunt, superintendent of the Public Schools of Robeson County, said in a statement.
According to the report, the state dropout rate fell from 3.01 to 2.45 percent. There were 11,649 high school dropouts statewide in 2012-13, the report said, a decrease of 2,439 from the previous year. Dropout rates decreased in 89 of the state’s 115 public school systems.
“That’s a nice drop,” Kenneth Gattis, senior research and evaluation for the N.C Department of Public Instruction’s Safe and Healthy Schools Support Division told members of the State Board of Education during their meeting Wednesday at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Other county dropout numbers and rates in the region include: Bladen, 65 dropouts, 4.22 percent; Columbus, 54 dropouts, 2.65 percent; Cumberland, 267 dropouts, 1.64 percent; Hoke, 50 dropouts, 2.32 percent; and Scotland, 83 dropouts, 4.22 percent.
The report also includes information about the use of corporal punishment, reportable acts of school crime and violence, and short and long-term suspensions.
According to the report, Robeson County had 110 reportable acts of crime in 2012-13 for a rate of 16.50 per 1,000 students. The state tracks 16 criminal acts, including murder, rape and kidnapping. The most frequently reportable crimes in high schools, the report says, were possession of an illegal controlled substance, possession of a weapon — excluding firearms and powerful explosives — and possession of an alcoholic beverage.
According to the report, there were a total of 203 uses of corporal punishment in nine public school systems across the state in 2012-13. Out of the 203 uses, 141 of those were in Robeson County schools. That means almost 70 percent of the cases of corporal punishment were in the Public Schools of Robeson County.