WUOMFM

School absenteeism

Tobias Leeger / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today (10/4)  is Count Day. For school districts in Michigan, it’s crucially important to have as many enrolled kids sitting in their seats as possible. That’s because this is one of the two days during the school year when attendance determines how much state aid schools will get.

There’s much work to do in boosting attendance, not just on Count Day.  A recent report from Johns Hopkins University finds Michigan's chronic student absence rate of 18-percent is well above the national average of 13-percent.

Brett Levin / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A set of bills passed in the state Senate Thursday would ban schools from suspending or expelling students solely for poor attendance.

The legislation, which passed on 28-9 and 35-2 margins, requires schools to notify parents to attend a meeting in regard to a child's irregular attendance. The bills would also require school boards to include sufficient data about truancy, chronic absences and disciplinary absences in their annual expulsion reports.

Bryan McDonald / flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan ranks third in the country for having the most school districts with chronic absence rates at or above 30%. 

Nationwide, chronic absenteeism is about 13%. In Michigan, it's 18%.

That's according to a report released today by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.