More Louisiana students are graduating high school than ever before.

That’s according to state Education Superintendent John White, who says this year’s graduating class maintained record gains made by the class of 2015.

“Nearly 39,000 young people graduated from high school last year. That’s more graduates than any class in the history of Louisiana,” White said, “Twenty-two thousand graduates from that class entered college.”

White says more than 3,500 more students graduated in 2016 than in 2012. He says as a state we’re moving towards greater graduation rates and higher levels of education for students who graduate from high school.

“Between 2014 and 2014 we increased nearly 3 percentage points, a tremendous gain. This year we sustained that gain with a 77 percent graduation rate,” White said.

In Lafayette Parish, overall graduation rates dropped slightly from 75.9 to 75 percent from 2015 to 2016.

LPSS 2016 Grad Rates

White says 43 percent of the graduating class earned college credits or industry-based credentials, and 2,500 more graduates qualified for TOPS than the class of 2012. He says these gains are the result of the state’s work to increase the number of graduates and to increase the education levels of those grads.

“In 2012 we put in some fundamental systems requiring the ACT for all students and rewarding advanced placement and duel enrollment college course work in our system,” White said.