The Kentucky Legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee heard a report in Frankfort today about “School Attendance in Kentucky” from the Legislative Research Commission’s Office of Education Accountability.
And, it didn’t take long for a real shocker to surface.
As the one of the OEA’s briefing slides puts it:
“The majority of Kentucky students are truant and more than 40 percent of Kentucky students are habitually truant under the terms of KRS 159.150.”
The OEA pointed out that statute KRS 159.150 defines truancy this way:
“Truant-Any student who has attained the age of six years, but has not reached his or her eighteenth birthday, who has been absent from school without valid excuse for three or more days, or tardy without valid excuse on three or more days, is a truant.”
A habitual truant was listed as:
“Any student who has been reported as a truant two or more times is an habitual truant.”
Unfortunately, the OEA didn’t really get into reasons why students became truant. One thing I wondered about is with many Kentucky kids riding a bus to school was whether they were logged as missing school or late when it really was a school bus problem (e.g. running late or cancelled due to no driver available).
Regardless, the statistic is stunning and I think the subject of attendance and truancy is going to get more legislative attention.
There was a lot more in the OEA’s presentation today, so stay tuned.