EMERY P. DALESIO
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's high school graduation rate is showing more improvement, with more than eight out of 10 earning a diploma in four years.
The state Department of Public Instruction said Thursday that 82 percent of students who started high school graduated within four years. That's up from 80 percent last year and 68 percent in 2006, when the state began reporting the four-year graduation rate.
The report includes graduation rates for each of the state's public high schools, for each of the 115 school districts and for the state overall. About 1.5 million students attend the state's public schools.
There's disagreement over why North Carolina's schools are doing better despite recession-era funding cuts that have forced schools to hire fewer teachers while enrollments increase.
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