Fresno Unified School District's annual State of Education address kicked off Monday, drawing it's biggest crowd yet. 450 people, including school officials and city leaders, were on hand to discuss changes and ways to continue improving the lives of students.
Another year at Fresno Unified School District is coming to a close. Monday, city leaders and school officials celebrated success.
Superintendent Michael Hanson says, "The state of education at Fresno Unified is strong and getting stronger everyday."
It's been a year filled with improvements.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says, "There were more than 3,500 students that graduated from Fresno Unified in 2013 and of those who did, 90 percent went on to attend college."
More students are also receiving their high school diplomas. In 2012, Fresno Unified's graduation rate rose to nearly 75 percent; that's up from 66 percent just several years ago.
Superintendent Hanson says, "Our board of education is focused on the youth of our city in a way that they have not been."
Hanson says millions of dollars from Prop 30 funds are being poured into the arts, early education and student kindness programs; tools to make kids successful in life after high school. The same way Edison High School's Men's Alliance Program helped senior Jacques Guidry.
"I got into a little bit of trouble messing around with drugs and things like that," says Guidry.
Now Guidry has a 4.0 gpa and is on his way to college; a chance Monday's event will give to many students. All proceeds raised at the State of Education address are going to straight to the Fresno Unified Scholarship Fund.
Superintendent Hanson says more than $50,000 was raised Monday, bringing the total number of scholarship money for this year to $70,000.