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New Report Sheds Light on Chronic Student Absenteeism

The Alarming Rise of Chronic Absenteeism in Middle and High School Students

Contact: Jim Davnie, Executive Director, Minnesota Alliance With Youth (612-718-3496)

A new report on the issue of chronic student absenteeism highlights proposed solutions for schools, districts, and state policymakers.

The report, released by Minnesota Alliance With Youth, underscores the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the national and local significance of this growing problem.  Of particular concern are the far-reaching consequences of chronic absenteeism, which not only affect student learning and engagement but also impact the likelihood of on-time high school graduation. Students from low-income backgrounds and communities of color are disproportionately affected by this issue.

Statewide data from the U.S. Department of Education indicates a dramatic increase in the percentage of Minnesota schools with high or extreme chronic absenteeism, rising from 34% in 2017/18 to a staggering 71% during the 2021/22 school year. The report also delves into the multiple factors contributing to chronic absenteeism, ranging from family issues to health concerns and academic struggles, and provides solutions such as family engagement, positive school climate initiatives, early warning systems, and mentorship programs to enhance student engagement and reduce absenteeism.

“Chronic absenteeism has far-reaching consequences that extend beyond just missed days of school; they directly affect student learning, engagement, and the likelihood of on-time high school graduation. AmeriCorps Promise Fellows can be part of the solution for students disengaged from school and struggling with attendance. Passage of HF3535, supporting success coaching in schools, will be a positive step forward for Minnesota in tackling the absenteeism crisis.” said Jim Davnie, Executive Director of Minnesota Alliance With Youth.

For more information on the report and the issue of chronic absenteeism in Minnesota, please contact Minnesota Alliance With Youth (jdavnie@staging1.mnyouth.net) or visit www.mnyouth.net.

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