Chronic Absence a Problem
Over the past decade, chronic absence has gone from being a virtually unknown concept to a nationwide education metric that provides every school in the country with critical data on how many students are missing so many days of school it is affecting their academic success.
Chronic absence results in lower student achievement and predicts whether a student drops out before completing high school.
The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution recently released the data from the 2015/2016 school year, covering all high school districts in the nation including schools in Southern Illinois. The data is in the form of percentages and relates to the total enrollment of a school compared to the absentees.
Carmi White County was at 9.5 percent. Norris City Enfield was at 5 percent. Grayville registered a low of 1.3 percent, the lowest percentage noted by the Project in our area.
Hamilton County registered 12.5, while Wabash County was at 7 percent. Edwards County was at 7.8 percent. Fairfield registered a 16.8 percent rate of absentees. Wayne City was at 6.5 percent
Hardin, East Richland and Lawrence County were much higher than the other area schools. Those numbers; 25 percent for Hardin, 23 percent for Lawrence and 27.4 percent in the East Richland district.
Statewide, Illinois was 16.3 percent, Indiana was 11.6 and Kentucky registered a 18.6 percent of absentees.
Again, it should be pointed out the numbers are from a 2015/16 study.
Chronically absent students are commonly defined as missing 10 percent of school days over the course of the school year for any reason, including suspensions, excused and unexcused absences.