According to extensive research, skipping school costs money in later life. With 6 million students always missing class, the issue of skipping school has come to the attention of education officials.
Another worrying fact is that most of these students come from poorer, Southern, minority, or industrial areas.
Although pop culture idealizes teens who are “too cool for school” and has created a fabricated student version who gets credits despite skipping school, in reality, things are different and success is hard to come by.
Research suggests that skipping school for just two days a month puts kids at risk for abandoning high school or lowers their marks in reading and math.
While some of the students who skip school do so for legitimate reasons, sometimes skipping school is an alarm signal. Many students who are chronically absent care for their siblings or experience neglect, abuse or homelessness. 1.3 million American students are in that situation.
The most affected areas are Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. Over a third of students over there miss school on a regular basis.
There are many factors which shape these students’ choices: poor access to health care, exposure to violence, poor housing and even being exposed to pollution.
The consensus is that only students who miss more than 10 percent of a school year fall under the category of school absence.
A surprising finding was that even affluent areas, like the New York City, have to deal with school absence. The rate of absence in New York was of 27.6 percent in 2013-2014, 25.5 percent the following year, and 25 percent last year.
Policymakers like Kim Nauer believe that the growing problem of school chronic absences can be addressed by tracking those who miss school, finding out their reasons, turning that into a statistic and then allocating the right amount of resources and measures according to the specific environment.
Schools which have higher numbers of students who skip school do get extra funding. This helps with additional staff, like mental health or teaching staff to keep an extra eye on kids with high levels of school absences.
Research shows that students who skip school often are more likely to get suspended or drop high-school altogether. Skipping school costs these children money when they reach adulthood and they can’t get a job.
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