Ga. schools cut graduation coaches to help budgets

ATLANTA (AP) - School districts across Georgia are cutting graduation coaches amid the worst budget crisis in decades.

State data shows at 170 graduation coach jobs out of 840 have been cut since last year. And school officials say those numbers likely will only get worse as the state continues to slash millions from school budgets.

Gov. Sonny Perdue started the graduation coach program in 2006

in hopes of raising the state's high school graduation rate. The coaches focus on students at-risk of dropping out and help them get back on track to graduate.

Late last year, Perdue credited the program with a 10 percent decrease in high school dropouts in Georgia for two years in a row.

About 79 percent of students graduate high school in Georgia.

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