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Politicians Addressing Student Absenteeism
Updated May 5, 2013 12:13 AM
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(UNDATED) - Schools would have to track chronic absenteeism and why those students are gone under a bill under consideration in the House.

The Senate has already passed a bill ordering schools to report to the state how many students missed 18 days of school -- that's 10-percent of the year.

Schools are already required to report students with 10 or more unexcused absences, but Senate Education Chairman Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) says why they're absent isn't really the point. He says studies have shown chronic absences interfere with education, even if students receive their homework assignments to keep up while they're gone.

Schools would separately track large numbers of unexcused absences as habitual truancy. The bill doesn't order any specific action on absenteeism, but schools would have to address it in the improvement plans they submit to the state.

A House committee may vote on the bill next week.

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