More than 29,000 students in Maine are missing too much school and school officials are concerned.
The Bangor Daily News reports that 16 percent of Maine’s nearly 192,000 students are chronically absent.
Students are chronically absent if they miss 10 percent of school days. That’s 18 days in a 175-day school year.
A 2015 federal law requires states to track chronic absences.
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State education officials say absenteeism rates appear to be especially pronounced in rural areas. The state’s monitoring schools’ progress in reducing absenteeism.
Lewiston schools superintendent Bill Webster said schools can’t tackle the issue themselves. He suggested reducing the age of required school attendance from seven to five years old to enough school attendance habits.