An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million students are chronically absent from school each year, putting them at risk of several negative outcomes. But the Obama administration recently announced a new cross-sector initiative to turn that tide.
Every Student, Every Day, an initiative led by the White House and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Justice (DOJ), will attempt to eradicate chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning in the current school year.
Experts say that students who are chronically absent—those who miss at least 10 percent or about 18 days of attendance in a year—are more susceptible to becoming dropouts. Working together with states, local communities, and nonprofit, faith-based, and philanthropic organizations, the Obama administration will attempt to find solutions.
“Kids who are chronically absent from school are much more likely to drop out later – and not only do they miss the opportunities that come through education, but they are also at greater risk of involvement with the justice system,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Through the initiative, the administration and its partners will provide:
– New federal tools to help local communities battle chronic absenteeism,
– More information on the phenomenon through the gathering of statistics in the Civil Rights Data Collection,
– A nationwide summit in the spring of 2016,
– Technical assistance to states and local school districts to implement early warning signs,
– A public awareness campaign, mentorship programs, and more.
For more information about Every Day Every Child, go to http://ed.gov/chronicabsenteeism.