Federal effort to combat chronic absenteeism at schools
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is appealing to schools to help cut chronic absenteeism by providing mentors and other support for students who miss too much school — instead of suspending or expelling them.
It's one of the steps outlined in a new effort to keep kids from habitually being absent.
An estimated 5 to 7.5 million students are chronically absent each year. Students are considered chronically absent if they miss at least 18 days in a school year.
The Education Department says frequent absences can lead to school children falling behind academically. Instead of kicking students out for chronic truancy, the department suggests that schools take a closer look at why these kids are absent so often and then provide more support like a mentor or other community services.