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Chronic absenteeism report outlines barriers, recommendations

A brand-new report on chronic school absenteeism in Oregon, commissioned by the state’s Chief Education Office, was released May 25.

The report relied on focus groups held around the state and research indicating that Oregon has one of the highest rates of chronic absenteeism in the country. It outlines two primary themes (culturally responsive practices and systemic barriers) and makes six recommendations, ranging from increased teacher diversity and professional development to revising discipline policies.

Betsy Miller-Jones, OSBA’s executive director, said the report should add momentum toward addressing the root causes of chronic absenteeism.

“The research collected here clearly shows that students of color are more likely to be chronically absent,” she said. “We need to remove the barriers that contribute to that, and continue partnering together to reduce the achievement gap.”