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Study: Students Miss School Mostly Due to Illness

Ann Choi KUT News

A study shows Central Texas students miss more school mostly because of illness. This study, done by a non-profit research group, E3 Alliance,surveyed nine schools in Austin area since 2011. 

The group argues that schools should track the reasons why students miss school. All Texas schools are required to record students' attendance to receive state reimbursement, but they are not mandated to document the specific reasons for the absence.  Excessive absences could especially affect Central Texas because the study indicates that students in this area missed more school days than the state average.

“For instance, they typically track is the child or sick or not? [when a student misses school] But they don’t track was the child at home with fever or because of some sort of chronic illness,’” E3 Alliance President Susan Dawson.

Last year, 300,000 Central Texas students missed 2.4 million school days. The study reported a variety of illnesses such as fever, asthma or diabetes made up 48 percent of reasons for absence. Skipping was the second most cited reason.

“Student attendance is very, very strongly related to academic outcomes, graduation, student persistence,” Dawson said. “But it’s also intertwined with students’ health.”

Dawson argued that students missing school days because of health reasons also correlates with poor transportation services in the region.

You can find the full studyhere.

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