There are half-empty classrooms at Jefferson County High School. Perhaps it's due to illness or simply lack of interest. The Florida Department of Education released some sobering statistics that Florida dropouts are on the rise.
A spokesperson from Florida's Department of Education said, "We know there's an increase in the number of students turning 16 going into schools saying, hey, I want to drop out and go in to the workforce."
Franklin and Jefferson Counties are showing the highest dropout rates.
"I am concerned about it because I think students are missing an opportunity to further their education and it's going to influence their lives later," said Jhan Reichert, a parent.
These numbers are prompting school districts to take action.
"We have to get them excited about learning, and help them find where their passion is, what they really want to do and then offer those areas to those students will help them a whole lot," said Juliette Fisher-Jackson, Jefferson County High School Principal.
There is good news at Leon and Liberty Counties. Both show some of the lowest number of dropout rates, numbers Jefferson County hopes to shadow in the future.
"We have a hard task ahead of us and we're ready for the challenge," said Jackson.
The bottom line is, schools are working to provide the best education for students, hoping they'll make the right choice and stay in school.
Beginning in January members of the Dropout Prevention Task Force will work with at-risk youth to help struggling students stay committed to graduation.