Report: Indiana chronic absences in schools doubles in six years

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(The Center Square) – Indiana’s percentage and volume number of students chronically absent from school has more than doubled from six years ago.

Nearly 25% percent, or 256,010, were considered chronic absentees in 2022. That’s up from 11.5%, or 120,649, in 2017. The trend fluctuated slightly down in 2018 and 2019, then zoomed during the end of the COVID-19 era years of 2021 and 2022.

The report is from Attendance Works, a 2006 creation from within the Annie E. Casey Foundation. It is based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, and finds in 2021-22 that 66% of students “attended a school with high or extreme levels of chronic absence. This means at least one of five students in their school was missing almost four weeks throughout the school year.”

Indiana’s 24.7% rate is 17th among the states and the District of Columbia. Idaho’s 3.5% is the best and Arizona’s 46.3% is the worst. The national average is 29.7%, which represents 14.7 million students.

The report says 43% of schools nationally had extreme levels of chronic absence in 2021-22, with elementary schools going from 7% to 38%.

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