State graduation rate up overall and among African Americans

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's four-year high school graduation rate has surpassed 80% for the first time. And the graduation rate for African American students in the state has — for the first time — surpassed the national average.

That news was met with applause during a Wednesday news conference by education officials on the steps of the state Capitol in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana Education Department figures show an overall graduation rate for 2018 of 81.4%. That's up from 78.2% in 2017.

Black students' graduation rate jumped from just under 73% in 2017 to more than 78% last year. The most recent national average is 77.8%.

The figures also show more Louisiana graduates earning early college credit or industry career credentials. And, more qualified for higher education aid.

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