During the 2013 legislative session, Indiana state lawmakers enacted new legislation that redefined chronic absenteeism and habitual truancy in Indiana, as well as introduced new requirements that all schools with a ‘B-grade’ or lower must develop a chronic absence reduction plan as a component of their school improvement plan. In October 2013, the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University conducted a research study for the Indiana Department of Education, which includes a review of existing research, as well as a model attendance plan that schools and school corporations could adapt in order to comply with new state requirements.
The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy also conducted a survey of school superintendents about the existence of court-assisted truancy programs in the Indiana school districts. CEEP found that few districts have established this type of program. While they are a relatively new phenomenon, these programs support students who have missed 10 or more days of school and connect them with the juvenile justice system and other social services in order to encourage regular school attendance.
A 2012 study by the Indiana Partnerships Center and the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy found that chronic absence lowers test scores and the chances for high school graduation for thousands of Indiana students each year.
Attendance Works, in collaboration with the Indiana Partnerships Center, also released a policy brief in to provide recommendations to help reduce chronic absence in the state.