New Research Shows Nearly Half of American Parents Underestimate the Harm of School Absences
Published: Thursday, 25 August 2016 11:06
U.S. Department of Education, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Ad Council Partner on Absences Add Up campaign to help parents keep their children in school and on a path to success.
A student who misses just two days of school each month — 18 days total in the year — is considered to be chronically absent. However, many parents don’t realize that, even when excused or understandable, absences add up and can greatly impact a child’s education. In the United States, more than 6 million children are chronically absent from school each year.
New research released today by the Ad Council found that an overwhelming majority (86%) of parents understand their child’s school attendance plays a big role in helping them graduate from high school. However, nearly half (49%) of parents believe that it is okay for their children to miss three or more days of school per month – and that they won’t fall behind academically if they do. In reality, missing just two days of school per month makes children more likely to fall behind and less likely to graduate.
To combat chronic absenteeism, the U.S. Department of Education, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Ad Council have partnered to create a public service campaign, Absences Add Up. The campaign features a series of digital and out of home PSAs that drive parents to AbsencesAddUp.org. On the website, parents are empowered with information and resources to help ensure their children attend school each day.
“Ensuring kids actually make it to school is a vital part of leveling the playing field. Just missing a couple of days of school a month can mean the difference between dropping out and graduating on time. Absences add up. That’s why eliminating chronic absenteeism is a critical part of our work at the federal, state, and local level to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.
“A good education provides the best pathway to opportunity,” said Mott Foundation President Ridgway White. “But to succeed in school, students have to be in school. That’s why we’re pleased to support a campaign that will help families and communities keep kids in the classroom.”