The Cost of Absences: Why We Need Your Help in Getting Students to School Every Day

Most parents know that school attendance is important—after all, we want our children to have the best possible chance of doing well in school, graduating from high school, and going on to find success in college or the job market. But most parents also know that getting their kids to school every day isn’t always easy. Children get sick or sometimes miss school because their families are struggling or because they feel unprepared.

What most parents may not know is that as early as elementary school, missing just 2 days of school per month—whether the absences are excused or unexcused—makes kids more likely to fall behind in school, and less likely to graduate from high school. Students are chronically absent if they miss an average of just 2 school days per month. When these absences add up, students who miss just 2 days of school each month end up missing 18 school days, or 10% of the school days in a year.

During the first-six weeks and second-six weeks grading periods of the 2016-2017 school year, Clifton Elementary School had zero days of 100% student attendance. Clifton Middle School and Clifton High School each had only one day of 100% student attendance. Public school districts receive state funding on average daily student attendance, not on the number of students enrolled in the district.

What does this translate to in state funding? If each campus in Clifton ISD had perfect attendance for the first and second-six weeks, the district would have earned an additional $60,434 in state revenue.  This is the equivalent to the average salary of 1.5 teachers.

Please let us know how we can support you in getting students to school every day.

Rhoda White

Clifton ISD