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Race Equity Trends > Education

Graduation Rate Differential

Significant disparities by race/ethnicity and family income in Lincoln Public Schools graduation rates persist

Children from lower income families begin formal schooling well behind their more affluent peers in terms of academic skills, and they often never close these gaps during subsequent school years, affecting their educational attainment such as completing high school.1 Growing up in neighborhoods with greater concentrations of poverty has also been found to have a severe impact on the likelihood that children graduate from high school.2 One study found the interaction of living in a low income household and overall childhood experience of living in the lowest 20% of neighborhoods as defined by household income reduced the likelihood of high school graduation for Black students by 25% and for White students by 10%.3

Students of color in Lincoln are more likely to attend schools with higher concentrations of poverty and attend those schools because they are located in their neighborhoods.

In the 2021-2022 school year, 82.3% of LPS students graduated.

  • 70.5% of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (a proxy for low-income4) graduated from LPS in the 2021-22 school year, which is 11.8 percentage points less than the overall LPS student population.
  • 71.4% of students who identify as Latino/a or Hispanic graduated from LPS in the 2021-22 school year, which is 10.9 percentage points lower than the overall LPS student population.
  • 68.6% of students who identify as Black or African American graduated from LPS in the 2021-22 school year, which is 13.7 percentage points lower than the overall LPS student population.
  • 40.0% of students who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native graduated from LPS in the 2020-21 school year, which is 42.3 percentage points lower than the overall LPS student population.
  • About 87.0% of students identified as Asian or White graduated from LPS in the 2021-22 school year, which is about 5 percentage points higher than the graduation rate for the overall LPS student population.
    • Both Asian and White households have higher median incomes than for Lincoln overall.
Notes

Nebraska Department of Education. (2022). Nebraska Education Profile (formerly Nebraska State of Schools Reports).

Four-year graduation rates are reported here to allow for comparison with nationally reported data. Data suppressed for American Indian/Alaska Natives for 2013-14, and for 2017-18, to protect privacy of small number of students.

Footnotes
  1. Duncan, G., Magnuson, K., and E. Votruba-Drzal. (2017). Moving Beyond Correlations in Assessing the Consequences of Poverty. Annual Review of Psychology 68:1, 413-434.
  2. Sharkey, P., Faber, J. (2014). Where, When, Why, and For Whom Do Residential Contexts Matter? Moving Away from the Dichotomous Understanding of Neighborhood Effects. Annual Review of Sociology 40:1, 559-579.
  3. Wodtke, G. T., Elwert, F., & Harding, D. J. (2016). Neighborhood Effect Heterogeneity by Family Income and Developmental Period. American Journal of Sociology, 121(4), 1168–1222.
  4. In general, students are eligible for free lunch if their household income is less than 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and eligible for reduced lunch if their household income is less than 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In the 2023-24 school year, students in a family of four with a household income less than $39,000 would be eligible for free lunch, and those with a household income less than $55,500 would be eligible for reduced lunch. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. (2023). Child nutrition programs: Income eligibility guidelines. Federal Register/Vol. 88, No. 27/Thursday, February 9, 2023. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-02-09/pdf/2023-02739.pdf