Officials say New York state's high school graduation rate held steady at 74 percent for the first class of students required to meet stricter graduation requirements.

The state education department released graduation rates for the class of 2012 on Monday. Students who entered high school in 2008 were the first who didn't have the option of graduating with a so-called local diploma, meaning they had to earn a Regents diploma requiring them to pass five Regents exams.

Four of the Big 5 districts posted graduation rates slightly lower than in 2011, but Buffalo saw its rate drop by more than 7 percentage points to just under 47 percent. New York City's rate was 60 percent. Yonkers held at 66 percent while Syracuse was at 48 percent and Rochester 43 percent.