NCEO Brief: Students with Disabilities & Chronic Absenteeism

by Sandy Shacklady-White

NCEO Brief: Students with Disabilities & Chronic Absenteeism
Chronic absenteeism has been gaining attention across the nation as states implement their ESSA plans. ESSA mandates that each state includes one or more measures “of school quality or student success” in their accountability system that will be used to annually assess each state’s public school performance. Many states have chosen to measure student chronic absenteeism.
According to information from the US Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for 2013-2014, 16% of the students who missed 15 or more school days were students with IEPs and 18.5% of students with disabilities missed 15 or more school days. Overall, the data for all students with disabilities indicate that a minimum of 17 million days of instruction were missed that year.
To that end, the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)has published a Brief to provide information about chronic absenteeism and its implications for students with disabilities. The report highlights both the benefits and potential risks considering the requirements outlined in IDEA, Section 504, and ADA.
In addition, the Brief provides actions states may explore to address chronic absences among students with disabilities at both the state and local level, and includes a list of resources.

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