_ _Attendance Works


_ _June 2024

Stemming the Surge in Chronic Absence: What States Can Do, A Fourth Annual Review of State Attendance Policy and Practice by Attendance Works, June 2024.

This brief is our fourth annual review of how states are and could make a difference in school attendance with new policies and practices. Reversing today’s chronic absenteeism requires state leaders to make reducing chronic absence a priority. In our work with states, we see how state leadership, especially from governors and state education agencies, are building the capacity of districts and schools struggling to implement effective responses to unprecedented chronic absence levels.

While reporting chronic absence data on state report cards is required by the federal government, decisions about how that data is reported (frequency and format) are left to SEAs. State rules, guidance and monitoring greatly influence whether attendance is taken at the local level in a consistent and accurate manner on a daily basis.

States can also offer guidance, resources, technical assistance and peer learning opportunities to build the capacity of districts to adopt effective strategies for improving attendance.

The analysis is based on data from the websites for every state and the District of Columbia; additional information was gathered through a survey completed by 47 states (including D.C.). This year we asked several new questions related to banning suspensions for truancy, as well as enrollment and funding policies, that can affect attendance data collection. Find the results for every state.

The brief concludes with recommendations for how states can advance local action that can stem the tide of absenteeism. The recommendations are grouped into three priority categories: develop comparable data, ensure public reporting of data and take action.