Missing School, Missing a Home: The Link Between Chronic Absenteeism, Economic Instability and Homelessness in Michigan finds that students who are experiencing homelessness and economically disadvantaged are more likely to be chronically absent from school than their higher income and housed peers.
The authors found:
• The rate of chronical absenteeism for students experiencing homelessness was two and a half times the rate of those housed.
• Students experiencing homelessness represented 40% of the chronically absent from school, which is the highest chronic absenteeism rate among all their peers. Low-income, African American, and students with disabilities also had high chronic absenteeism.
The authors recommend the following actions that school districts can work towards to ensure all students can meet academic outcomes. These include:
• Ensuring that attendance programs and policies meet the needs of all students including those experiencing housing and economic instability.
• Learning from districts and states with successful attendance interventions.
• Adopting statewide real-time attendance tracking tools at schools.
• Using available data to identify and address the need for school districts with high need
In Connecticut, we know that approximately 5,015 students experienced homelessness in the 2017/2018 school year. The Reaching Home Campaign is advocating during the 2019 legislative session for Connecticut to align its education statutes (C.G.S. 10-253 & C.G.S. 10-186) with federal McKinney-Vento rights, which will help to clarify the rights of students experiencing homelessness to immediately enroll in a school, a critical component to preventing youth and family homelessness. Click here for more information.
Click here for resources from the CT State Department of Education resources on chronic absence.
Click here to read the report.