Missing too much school can put a child’s future at risk. Yet for thousands of New Jersey’s school children, being absent happens far too often. In the 2014-15 school year, 136,000 or 10 percent of K-12 students in New Jersey were “chronically absent.” Being “chronically absent” means missing 10 percent or more of total enrolled school days, including suspensions and both excused and unexcused absences.
Chronic absenteeism rates vary by school district and by county. The reasons for absences may vary, but the impact of absences on a child’s learning can be profound. Counties ranged from a high of 15% of students chronically absent in Cumberland County to a low of 5% of students chronically absent in Hunterdon County.
ACNJ has produced the following county profiles to highlight school districts with high absenteeism in each county.