California enacted a historic Local Control Funding Formula in 2013, which requires school districts to track chronic absence as a metric of pupil engagement. School districts across California are now required to monitor and address chronic absence as part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) prescribed under the Local Control Funding Formula. The resources on this page can help districts learn to calculate chronic absence and set goals for improvement in LCAPS
Attendance Works and Children Now created Accountable for Attendance: Addressing Chronic Student Absence In Your Local Control and Accountability Plan to help districts, county boards of education and community partners deploy the best strategies for tracking and improving attendance.
View a one-page summary of the report here
Read the full report here.
The first step in setting goals for improving chronic absence is assessing the scope and scale of the problem in a school district. Attendance Works has developed free data tools specifically for California school districts who need support in calculating chronic absence. The tools are compatible with the Aeris student information system.
- Register for the data tools here.
The California Attorney General’s Office developed a sample LCAP that includes guidance on how to include chronic absence as a metric in the accountability plan. The AG’s office does not have a role in enforcing compliance and does not intend the sample as a directive. Rather Attorney General Kamala Harris sees attendance as a critical, foundational aspect of ensuring student achievement, and her staff crafted the sample LCAP to support school districts developing plans.
New materials from the California State Department of Education and the California School Boards Association suggest how chronic absence tracking can be built into the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) system and local school board policy.
Despite the requirement for tracking chronic absence, a review of LCAPS shows that not all school district have included the metric in their plans yet. Others don’t fully understand the distinction between truancy and chronic absence, which encompasses all absences — excused an unexcused. That materials below can clarify definitions and requirements.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- For School Board Members
- For Superintendents
- For Principals
- For Community Agencies
- For Parent Leaders