Local News

Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Improve Rate Of Chronic Absenteeism

State lawmakers are hoping to assist educators in curbing the alarming chronic absenteeism in Connecticut’s schools. And, the proposed bill has already made it out of the education committee.

According to state figures, roughly 11.5 percent of Connecticut students – or about 60,000 kids – are chronically absent, including 17 percent of all high school students.

“If a child is chronically absent, it’s an indicator for poor reading skills by third grade,” said Steven Hernandez of the Connecticut Commission on Children. “And, as we know, if you’re not reading by third grade, you’re not reading to learn thereafter.”

The state classifies any child, who misses at least 10 percent of school days, for any reason, as a chronic absentee. However, this bill states only those missing that much school through unexcused absences would be deemed chronic. But, the committee is flexible.

“I’m open to the idea of including absences that relate to disciplinary action,” said Fleischmann.

State Representative Doug McCrory (D-Hartford), a member of the education committee and Vice Principal of the Public Safety Academy, magnet middle and high school in Enfield, says, “If you want to have successful schools, you have to have positive relationships with your students and with their home (parents, siblings).”

So, how do you get a student motivated to attend school? It’s not always about motivating them.

“You know, in some of our situations, we found that parents work and the child needs to stay home on a particular day to take care of a young one,” Hernandez said.

According to Fleischmann, in Kindergarten through second grade, chronic absenteeism is often a result of parents deemphasizing the importance of school. And, by middle school, trouble learning and social issues tend to be the culprits.

 

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

2 Comments to “Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Improve Rate Of Chronic Absenteeism”

    Guest said:
    March 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    De-emphasize education – yes they do – especially when they take vacations during the 'cheaper' times of the year. That usually means at least 7 to 10 missed days of school.

    theone said:
    March 25, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    great reporting, no once in the story does it say WHAT the bill will do with these kids

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisement

Advertisement