JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV) — The Missouri State Board of Education on Tuesday morning voted to give Kansas City Public Schools full accreditation for the first time in two decades

KCPS was the first school district in the country to lose accreditation in 2000. The district became partially accredited a few years later, then lost that accreditation in 2011. The school district re-gained partial accreditation in 2014, but hasn’t been fully accredited since 2000.

This step marks a decades-long battle for the district to prove itself and show the state education department now believes KCPS is at least on the right path.

KCPS outlined several areas of improvement the district has shown in recent years. In six years, the district’s four-year graduation rate rose from 69 percent to 78 percent. It has also increased the number of high school students in Advanced Placement courses and other advanced programs by 34 percent.

The district is holding a special news conference Tuesday afternoon on the state’s decision. Stay with KCTV5 News for full coverage of the aftermath of the accreditation, and the district’s news conference.

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. released the following statement about the news: 

“Today, I am thrilled to congratulate Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell, School Board members and the entire KCPS community on this well-deserved achievement. Over the past several years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know and work with Dr. Bedell as he endeavored to break down barriers and systems that hindered a high-quality education for our inner city kids. Under his leadership, with the support of the School Board, teachers, staff, parents and the community, significant progress has been made to increase student achievement, evidenced by today’s announcement of the district receiving full accreditation. As a proud graduate of KCPS, I am excited for the new opportunities this status will ignite as we work to build a better, more equitable Jackson County. Go Tigers!”

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