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Baltimore: Shocking rates of chronic absenteeism in schools

June 6, 2018, Baltimore Sun: Nearly 1 in 5 Maryland students is chronically absent. At some schools, the rate is more than 75 percent http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/k-12/bs-md-chronic-absenteeism-20180604-story.html Last year, more than half of all Woodlawn students missed at least 10 percent of school last year. The state calls that chronically absent. Research shows that it’s enough absences to make a difference in those students’ futures. Woodlawn’s rate, while high, is far from the worst in the state. At two dozen public schools, more than 75 percent of students were chronically absent during the 2016-17 school year, according to data from the Maryland State Department of Education. Many are in Baltimore’s lowest-income neighborhoods. Nearly one in five Maryland students — 18.3 percent — was chronically absent last year, the data show. Baltimore has the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the state: 37 percent of students missed at least 10 percent of school last year. The rate in Baltimore County was roughly 20 percent. … When the State Board began looking at the numbers last winter, some members began asking whether the rates were a window into another problem…. In nine Baltimore schools, more than 80 percent of students were chronically absent last year. All serve populations where more than 50 percent of students qualify for federal poverty assistance. … About 400 students at Lansdowne High School in Baltimore County were chronically absent last year. That was nearly a third of the student body. …