School Climate & Safety Report Roundup

Chronic Absenteeism

“Portraits of Change”
By Evie Blad — September 12, 2017 1 min read
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When a large number of students miss school regularly, it affects learning for everyone, even the kids who show up, a new analysis says.

More than 7 million students nationwide missed 15 or more school days during the 2013-14 school year, the most recent federal data on chronic absenteeism show. But the problem is especially concentrated in a small portion of schools, according to a new state-by-state analysis by the nonprofit Attendance Works.

At 11 percent of U.S. public schools—about 10,000 schools—more than 30 percent of students missed at least 15 days for any reason, including suspensions and excused absences, the study says. At an additional 10,000 schools, between 20 percent and 29 percent of the students missed at least 15 days. The problem is most severe in high schools, a quarter of which struggle with “extreme chronic absence.” And the proportion of schools dealing with extreme chronic absence levels varies widely among states, the analysis says.

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A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2017 edition of Education Week as Chronic Absenteeism

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