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How Many Kids Chronically Miss School In Kansas And Missouri?

Lauren Manning

With all Kansas City-area students back to school, a new report shows just how important attendance is in the first month of school.

A report by the nonprofit Attendance Works calls chronic absenteeism a "national challenge" and says about one in five U.S. students miss 10 percent of school a year.

In Kansas, the figure is a bit higher. Attendance Works says 23 percent of students in Kansas miss three or more days a week. The figure is a little better in Missouri with 19 percent missing three or more days.

According to the study, California, Georgia and Department of Defense schools did the best. New Mexico and Montana did the worst.

The report says students on free or reduced lunch are 30 percent to 40 percent more likely to be chronically absent.

Attendance Works says it estimated absenteeism by counting the number of days 4th graders and 8th graders were absent the week before they took the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) test, widely seen as the nation's report card.

Research shows that high absenteeism often means lower academic achievement and lower high school graduation rates.

A new analysis from the Baltimore Education Research Consortium shows that attendance in September is a good predictor of whether a student will be chronically absent. The report says if a child missed fewer than two days in September they typically had good attendance the rest of the year.

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