Breaking: White House & Department of Education Declare War on Chronic Student Absenteeism #chronic absenteeism

Today the White House and the federal Department of Education, in partnership with the Ad Council, launched a campaign designed to reduce chronic school absenteeism.The press release states as follows:”Chronic absenteeism, or missing at least ten percent of school days in the school year, or a month or more of school, excused or unexcused, is a leading cause of low achievement and a powerful predictor of which students will eventually drop out of school. Five to seven and a half million children miss a month or more of school each year, putting them at significant risk of falling behind and not graduating from high school.Half the high-need students who fall off-track to high school graduation do so in just65school districts. Chronic absenteeism is often the first flag.A recent report byAmericas Promise Allianceshowsthat students in our highest need communities typically experience relationship poverty, which greatly increases the odds that they will dropout. The research showed that having a caring adult in their lives was a major counter force to dropping out. Having a caring adultin schoolhad the largest impact of all reducing the likelihood of leaving school by 25%.Every Student, Every DayCampaign is focused on the estimated 5 to 7.5 million students who are chronically absent each year. Defined as missing at least 10 percent (approximately 18 days) of school days in a school year, chronic absenteeism puts students at heightened risk of falling behind and dropping out of school. Together, communities can address and eliminate chronic absenteeism, and ultimately boost student success and strengthen our nation’s workforce and our future prosperity. As part of this initiative, the Administration is collaborating with states, local communities, and nonprofit, faith, and philanthropic organizations to support local, cross-sector efforts.”You may recall that last October, the Department of Education, along with three other agenciesannounced a joint program to combat chronic absenteeism.Dear Colleague Letter 115 LRP 48468 (Depts of Labor,Justice, Education & HUD 10/7/15)