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California Truancy Data Show Racial Divide

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African-American elementary students in California were chronically truant at nearly four times the rate of all students during the last school year, according to a state report that says poverty and suspensions were contributing factors.

The report, released this month by the state attorney general's office, marks the first time the data have been broken down by race and income levels. The study found 37 percent of black elementary school students sampled were truant, more than any other subgroup, including homeless students, and about 15 percentage points higher than the rate for all students.

Overall, more than 250,000 elementary students missed 10 percent or more of the 2013-14 school year, or roughly 18 or more school days. The absences were highest in kindergarten and 1st grade, when children are learning to read.

Vol. 34, Issue 05, Pages 4-5

Published in Print: September 24, 2014, as California Truancy Data Show Racial Divide
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