Is Public School Attendance No Longer Mandatory?


In most districts in the United States, the school year is now underway. The epidemic of absenteeism is one of the challenges.

Due to the extended closures during the peak of the pandemic, parents and students have changed their opinions on school attendance. Teachers wonder if students and parents feel going to school is an optional activity.

Statistics show that something is happening, no matter how absurd it may seem.

It means the student missed 10% of his/her school year.

Thomas Dee is a Stanford economist who has written a comprehensive report on this topic.

New York Times:

Dee’s research found that areas with higher Covid rates did not experience higher absenteeism. Students no longer attend every day.

This theory is supported by the fact that absenteeism increased in states like California, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C., where schools were closed longer during the pandemic.

Elmer Roldan leads a group dedicated to preventing dropouts. The Los Angeles Times reported Roldan telling his families school would be different for almost two years. The idea of schooling other than the 8-to-3 schedule has become commonplace.

It is detrimental to the learning abilities of students to allow them to skip class if they do not feel like going to school today.

Damour told the New York Times that the main thing adults must understand is the fact that avoiding situations increases anxiety. Damour explained to the New York Times that the most important thing adults should know is the fact that avoiding situations causes anxiety.

We now know that closing the schools after September 2020 is not a good decision. At that time, we already knew that COVID-19 was less prevalent among children. Florida and other states have shown that keeping the schools open leads to better educational outcomes.

Hedy Chang of Attendance Works (a school attendance group) told The Associated Press, “The long-term effects of not attending school could be devastating.”

Dee’s study shows the absence rate decreased only slightly from 2020-21 to 2021-22 despite all of the efforts made this year. The U.S. student will now be further behind their international counterparts.