Who Should Decide Attendance Policies—States or Districts?

Who Should Decide Attendance Policies—States or Districts?

January 9, 2020

According to Education Dive, a new bill in the Wyoming Legislature reflects a larger question for school districts grappling to address attendance and absenteeism issues. If passed, it would allow districts to set their own policies regarding excused and unexcused absences and to decide how many unexcused absences amount to ‘habitual truancy’ or ‘willful absenteeism.’” Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, “states are required to collect data on chronic absenteeism,” and “many are using that indicator as part of their school accountability systems,” making it harder to compare trends and identify successes if each district is defining its own attendance policies. Wyoming isn’t alone in considering proposals that impact attendance; both Georgia and Ohio are considering other measures as well.