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IN SCHOOL + ON TRACK 2014 ++ California’s Elementary School Truancy Crisis What We Can Do To Solve it #EveryKidCounts.

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Presentation on theme: "IN SCHOOL + ON TRACK 2014 ++ California’s Elementary School Truancy Crisis What We Can Do To Solve it #EveryKidCounts."— Presentation transcript:

1 IN SCHOOL + ON TRACK 2014 ++ California’s Elementary School Truancy Crisis What We Can Do To Solve it #EveryKidCounts

2 Methodology Methodology School District Leadership Survey—158 school district leaders completed our survey providing detailed information about current attendance rates, practices, and procedures, as well as plans they have to improve their present systems. Aeries Survey—35 Aeries client districts provided us with attendance rates disaggregated by grade, ethnicity, and other subgroup categories. Overall sample size was 147,749 California students. California Department of Education—CDE provided us with census enrollment, cumulative enrollment, number of truant students, ADA and revenue limit data. This allowed us to calculate the elementary school truancy rates and determine lost revenues.



5 250,000 chronically absent 250,000 elementary school students in CA are estimated to be chronically absent – missing 10% or more of the school year.

6 53,000 elementary school students are chronically truant (10% or more of the school year missed for unexcused absences) 40,000 elementary school students are severely chronically absent (missing 20% or more of the school year, or approximately 36 days)

7 Disadvantaged Youth Suffer Greater Disparities

8 Foster & Homeless Youth 58,699 * 58,699 K-12 Foster Youth in CA 22% * 22% of K-6 foster students were truant in 2013-2014 1 in 10 and 1 in 10 were chronically absent 21.3% * Over a million children homeless in the United States—CA accounts for 21.3% of the national total 1 in 3 1 in 20 * 1 in 3 homeless students were truant, and 1 in 20 were chronically truant

9 Low-Income Students 2,064,742 * 2,064,742 K-6 in CA 1 in 10 * 1 in 10 chronically absent in 2013-2014 45,000 * 45,000 chronically truant 35,000 * 35,000 severely chronically absent English Learner 1,027,186 * 1,027,186 K-6 in CA 18% 6.3% * 18% of elementary English learners in our Aeries sample were truant and 6.3% were chronically absent in 2013-2014

10 Elementary Students of Color & Attendance African American Students African American Students 37.5% * 37.5% (or 73,000) of K-6 students were truant in 2013-14; 17.8% * 17.8% (or 33,000) were chronically absent; and 6%4x * 6% were chronically truant—4x the rate of all other students 3.8%3x * 3.8% severely chronically absent—over 3x rate of all other students Latino Students Latino Students one in five *More than one in five students was chronically absent in 2013-14 *Latinos are more likely to be chronically absent than White students Native American/Alaskan Native Students Native American/Alaskan Native Students 35% * 35% of American Indian/Alaska Native students are truant

11 3+ unexcused absences/tardies

12 18+ missed days for any reason

13 18+ unexcused absences

14 36+ missed days for any reason

15 TAKEAWAYS: African American youth have the biggest problems with attendance. Absenteeism is the worst in Kindergarten and 1 st grade for all racial/ethnic groups.


17 Suspensions Exacerbate the Problem 2.7% 2.7% of all elementary students received an out of school suspension in the 2009-2010 167,000 school year (over 167,000 students) 50,000 In 2012-13 there were almost 50,000 elementary school suspensions for “willful defiance” 8% 20% African American students represented only 8% of our sample, but accounted for 20% of the days missed due to suspensions 18% 40% African American children represent only 18% of preschool enrollment, but account for over 40% of all preschool students suspended at least once in 2011-2012 3x In 1st and 2nd grade, African American students are suspended up to 3x more frequently than White students


19 Lack of Capacity + System Silos *RESULT—LCAPs are missing crucial attendance information

20 High Student Mobility Hides Attendance Problems for Disadvantaged Students 7%428,000 Approximately 7% of all students in California—or over 428,000 students— transferred schools between October 2012 and October 2013 foster youth School mobility is much higher for foster youth, homeless children, and migrant youth than it is for their peers Foster youth 1-2 times Foster youth experience a change in placement about once every 6 months, and can move schools on average 1-2 times per year 660,000 Nearly 660,000 migrant students change schools each year as their families shift in and out of seasonal work 1 in 6 1 in 6 children will transfer schools two or more times by the end of third grade

21 The Cost of Absenteeism in California

22 California school districts lost: 2010-2011 $1.40 billion 2011-2012 $1.11 billion 2012-2013 $1.06 billion ------------- $3.57 BILLION $3.57 BILLION


24 Investments Pay Off

25 Approximate Increased Funding Due to Truancy Prevention Initiatives Number of Districts/Schools Under $10,0001 $10,000-$50,0001 $50,001-$100,000- $100,001-$500,0007 $500,001-$1 million2 More than $1 million1 Unspecified Increased Funding35 Funds Not Increased 14 (Note: some districts broke even with return, had increased ADA but decreased enrollment, or explained that their programs were just starting up and they expected returns next year) Unknown21 TOTAL82 The average return on investments in attendance was $339,000 Investments Pay Off

26 Overview of the Local Control Funding Formula: LCFF gives school districts a base funding grant calculated by ADA Additional funds are allocated based on the number disadvantaged youth Every school district must adopt a Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP), which specifies annual goals/plans to address all eight state priorities One of the state’s 8 priorities is “pupil engagement,” which is to be measured in part by school attendance rates, chronic absenteeism rates LCAPs must address all 8 state priorities for the entire student body, as well as for certain pupil subgroups (racial/ethnic subgroups, low-income pupils, English Learners, pupils with disabilities, and foster youth)

27 Review of Attendance in LCAPs Our Review of LCAPs 15.7% Out of 140 LCAPs, only 15.7% of school districts provide baseline chronic absences rates 50% Out of 40 LCAPs, 50% of districts fail to identify funding for attendance programs/infrastructure 60% 60% of LCAPs fail to identify goals or actions to improve attendance for their disadvantaged students

28 80 LCAP Review by Nonprofit Coalition 33% 33% of LCAPs do not mention chronic absence at all 15% 15% merely reference chronic absence as a metric they consider, without setting forth any goals regarding chronic absence 30% Only 30% include specific annual goals for reducing chronic absence 18% Only 18% include baseline data on the current chronic absence rate 5% Only 5% set forth chronic absence goals disaggregated by subgroup

29 Sample LCAP


31 Recommendations Moving Forward: 1.Modernize the state’s student records system for attendance 2.Use LCFF to ensure accountability for attendance 3.Expand, Improve, and Measure Outcomes for School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) 4.Critically assess any school policies that remove students from the classroom 5.Design and implement programs to communicate that school attendance is important, and it’s the law 6.Assess and Improve District Attorney and other law enforcement officials’ participation on SARBs and other informal or formal attendance collaborations; prosecute only the most recalcitrant cases of truancy when all prior interventions fail

32 Thank You! Please read the entire In School + On Track 2014 report at:

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