Kickoff for the Dropout Prevention Taskforce

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In an effort to increase Florida's graduation rate the new Dropout Prevention Task Force has been formed.

It was a packed house for Tallahassee's Leon High School, but that's not the case in many schools across the state of Florida. Experts say more students are dropping out.

Now members from the Dropout Prevention Task Force are confronting the issue working with at risk youth, in schools and communities.

"Many of our dropouts are not that hard to identify, so we will be working very closely with outside school agencies," said Bill Montford, CEO Florida School Superintendents.

Educators say one way to get the drop out rate to fall is for local businesses to step up and work together in the communities.

John Newland, Public Information Officer for Tallahassee Police, said "It's not only a partnership with businesses and schools but with parents as well, if you have trouble with your kids, call us (TPD) and we can come and intervene and help out a situation."

With the new task force the Sunshine State will see more career academies along with other similar programs at public schools.

"Almost all high schools in Leon County with the push of Superintendent Pons, the schools will develop some type of credit retrieval and drop out prevention program that targets their student body in particular," said Billy Epting, Leon High School Assistant Principal.

Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice is also part of the taskforce. Organizers say any strategy that keeps young people off the streets and in school will have a positive impact in communities across the state.

A few other programs geared towards keeping kids in school are teen pregnancy prevention, after school courses, and mentoring.