Nearly 32,000 students citywide missed four or more weeks of school during the 2010-2011 school year, according to a recent analysis of attendance data of kindergarten through eighth-graders by Chicago Tribune reporters.
The problem, reporters found, is prevalent in African-American communities on the South and West Sides, where education can be key to lifting children out of poverty. But missed days affect the school, too, as the absences cost the district millions in attendance-based funding, acccording to the report.
Read more at “An empty-desk epidemic” by the Chicago Tribune, where reporters caught up with one Austin student who’s listed as having “nearly perfect attendance” even though he missed nearly the entire first month of school.
While CPS has been aware of the problem for years, little has been done to effectively combat it, the story states.
- Read another Tribune story, “Fighting truancy in Chicago schools: A score card on strategies” to learn about methods Chicago school officials have tried and abandoned.
- Read “Small town succeeds where Chicago fails” to learn methods to decrease absenteeism that some say could fix the problem in Chicago schools.