Federal Policy


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Obama on Dec. 10, 2015, establishes a new requirement that states report chronic absenteeism rates, and allows districts to spend federal dollars on training to reduce absenteeism. With this information on chronically absent students, schools—often together with community partners—can help students get the additional supports they need to overcome barriers to getting to school.

The ESSA also gives states more power to set their own accountability standards. Click here to read our blog post that explains why chronic absence is a top choice as a state school quality and student success measure under the ESSA.

The ESSA is a re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or No Child Left Behind Act, and represents the first time that federal education law specifically mentions this measure of attendance. The provisions on attendance highlight the increasing awareness in Washington and across the country that chronic absence is a key indicator for assessing school and student success. Click here to read our blog and find out more about the attendance provisions in the ESSA.