BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - More Kern County teens are dropping out of high school, according to a newly released study. The California Department of Education said the county's drop-out rate went up by almost two percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Statewide the drop-out rate is just over 14 percent, down 1.5 percent.
In Kern County the drop-out rate for school year 2011-2012 was 16.9 percent, up slightly from 16.6 percent the year before.
The drop-out rate was highest among African Americans with one-in-four leaving school before graduation.
Kern County as a whole saw nearly 3 thousand drop outs last year, and students at Bakersfield high school say there are several reasons for dropping out.
"They don't really know any better, so they don't really get that one on one experience they need so they feel like school isn't for them and so they start working already to get more money," said Tylor Johnson a senior at BHS.
"Some of them drug use and some of them just don't want to go to school anymore they want to do their own thing," added Devin Bishop BHS Junior.
Within the high school district nearly 81 percent of those who started high school in 2008 graduated with their class in 2012. in California only 78 percent even graduated on time.
In the Kern High School District alone the drop out rate is up from 12 percent in 2011 with 27 fewer students. But, students say getting involved will keep students in school.
Data also showed that over 5 percent more male students dropped out last year than female students.