“There should be no barriers when it comes to providing young people with a quality education.”
Broderick Johnson, White House Cabinet Secretary and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force
We couldn’t agree with that statement more.
Last week the Obama Administration launched Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism. and we are cheering them on. Working in collaboration the White House, U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Justice (DOJ), are formally coming together tocombat chronic absenteeism and calling on states and local communities across the country to join in taking immediate action to address and eliminate chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning in the current school year (2015-16).
Every Student, Every Day is focused on the estimated 5 to 7.5 million students who are chronically absent each year. Defined as missing at least 10 percent (approximately 18 days) of school days in a school year, chronic absenteeism puts students at heightened risk of falling behind and dropping out of school. We know there can be many reasons for chronic absenteeism including lack of transportation, homelessness, language barriers, and chronic health problems. Working together, communities can address and eliminate chronic absenteeism, by working closely with schools and families. Mentoring, tutoring, safe before and after school programs, and transportation assistance can all work to help get kids into their classrooms every day. They are also all avenues congregations can explore as ways to partner with a local school. As part of this initiative, the Administration is partnering with states, local communities, and nonprofit, faith, and philanthropic organizations to support local, cross-sector efforts.
We’ll be participating in the Virtual Summit to Help States and Communities to Identify and Support Chronically Absent Students on November 12 and we’d love to have some of you join us! The Education Department is partnering with Attendance Works, the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and United Way to host the conversation and provide school districts and communities with strategies to improve school attendance, eliminate chronic absenteeism, and close achievement gaps. To register, CLICK HERE.
Is chronic absenteeism part of the conversations your partnership has with your school?