Student attendance drops as bus driver strike continues

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Attendance has dropped at Providence schools as a city-wide bus driver strike heads into its sixth day.

WPRI-TV reports that the overall attendance rate for the district was 88.9 percent Tuesday, down from 92.2 percent the day before the bus driver strike began on Sept. 27.

Attendance rates were lower at schools where a large number of students ride the bus. Data shows Nathan Bishop Middle School saw attendance drop from 93.6 percent Sept. 26 to 83 percent Tuesday.

Bus drivers launched their strike against the private company overseeing school bus operations due to a dispute over retirement benefits.

Mayor Jorge Elorza called on the two sides to reach an agreement Tuesday, but no deal has been announced.

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