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Dade school district fears higher ed budget would hurt graduation rate

Last year, 28,500 Miami-Dade high school students enrolled in a night school class –- many of them to retake a math or English class they failed, needing the credit to graduate.

That opportunity may no longer exist if a pair of proposals passes the state House and Senate.

The bills are intended to save the state money on adult education programs. But if they are approved as written, Miami-Dade educators say, the district’s graduation rate could drop by up to 30 percent.

“We talk about providing avenues to success, but then we put roadblocks on some of those avenues,” Miami-Dade Assistant Superintendent Dan Tosado said. “This would be a major roadblock.”

Also causing concern: a provision in the bills that would establish new fees for adult education classes. Students would be charged $45 per each half year. The House bill would also require that adults prove they have lived in Florida for at least a year or they will be charged a higher “non-resident" tuition.

Local school administrators worry the change would keep newly arrived immigrants from taking English and citizenship classes. Full story here.