Chronic absenteeism in K-12 schools is a major concern, with three in five Americans now recognizing its severity, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

Chronic absenteeism (missing 10+ days of school per year, or about two days per month) impacts students’ academic performance, leading to declines in math and reading scores and affecting students’ ability to keep up with their peers.

By the numbers
  • 56% of parents say chronic absenteeism is a major problem.
  • 68% of parents support holding parents accountable for their child’s attendance.

Face the facts: An analysis of attendance data by the American Enterprise Institute indicates that chronic absenteeism surged from 15% in 2018 to 28% in 2022. Despite the data, only 6% of parents report their child missed 18 or more days of school in the past year.

Nearly half of the teachers surveyed by Pew Research Center see chronic absenteeism as a significant challenge, with the issue more pronounced in high schools.