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Friday, June 22, 2018

Children with Disabilities and Absenteeism

From Jim Gerl's Special Education Law Blog

By Jim Gerl, Esq.
June 17, 2018

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has released a report on Students with Disabilities and Absenteeism. The brief provides information on chronic absenteeism and its possible implications for students with disabilities, when a state selects it as a measure of school quality or student success under ESEA.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

"The 2013-14 national data showed that elementary school students with disabilities served by IDEA were 1.5 times as likely to be chronically absent as elementary school students without disabilities. High school students with disabilities served by IDEA were 1.4 times as likely to be chronically absent as high school students without disabilities.

Across subgroups, only Native students (American Indian or Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander) exceeded the rates of chronic absenteeism for students with disabilities. This disparity is echoed in more recent data collected by states.

For example, Connecticut’s (2017) data for the 2015-2016 school year showed that students with disabilities served by IDEA continued to exhibit substantially higher chronic absenteeism rates than their general education peers despite statewide prevention and intervention efforts. Eighteen percent of Connecticut’s students with disabilities were chronically absent compared to 9.6 percent overall."

The report analyzes the legal implications of the problem and makes a number of recommendations concerning the topic- including recommending an IEP Team Meeting when absences are connected to the student's disability.

You can read the eight page report here.

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