Louisiana’s class of 2019 recorded a record-high 42,650 on-time graduates, while the graduation rate slipped from 81.4 percent to 80.1 percent, the Louisiana Department of Education announced Wednesday.

The number of graduates earning early college credit and industry career credentials rose 9.7 percent from 24,841 students in 2018 to 27,260 in 2019, the department says. The 2019 class had 22,098 students meeting the academic standards to qualify for state TOPS scholarships, a 3.8 percent increase from the 21,280 students who were eligible in 2018.

"We are pleased to celebrate the coordinated efforts resulting in more Louisiana students earning a high school diploma than in previous years," State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley said. "With the good news also comes concern, however, as the graduation rate for the cohort fell from the previous year.

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