Educational Equity Data Talk: Chronic Absenteeism (February 2023)

We launched our new monthly data talks with a conversation about chronic absenteeism rates in Monterey County. These are students who missed 10% or more of the school days within a year, which averages to missing about one day every two weeks. We explored new data from the California Department of Education which indicated that about 29% of students in Monterey County were chronically absent in 2021-22, compared to 10% of students in 2018-19. This increase in rates was especially pronounced for Pacific Islander, African American, and Hispanic or Latino students, and American Indian or Alaska Native females. About half of the foster students in our county were chronically absent in the most recent data. The rates for low-income students across all race/ethnicity groups were higher than rates for students with families earning higher incomes. We talked to local parents about this, and they explained that their children have been sick more often, and many more students in their children’s classes have been absent. Schools have encouraged parents to keep their children at home if they are sick, while sending reminders and information about attendance. Parents also mentioned the difficulty of caring for sick children and providing remote instruction, and that this may not be possible for parents without paid sick leave, other child care, or support for remote learning.

Access the talk recording, slides, and data sets here:

Please join us for next month’s data talk in which we will look at college outcomes data including college-going rates, transfers to CSU and UC, and completion rates. We welcome all members of the community to come learn about relevant education topics – data expertise is not required to attend.