Our Publications

Chronic Absenteeism: How Philanthropy can Support “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once” Solutions

Chronic absenteeism has emerged as a critical challenge for preK-12 systems, significantly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Affecting approximately one-third of all K12 students, this challenge is particularly pronounced among marginalized communities, leading to profound academic and long-term socioeconomic consequences. Consistent school attendance is the foundation for student success. Even missing a few days every month can impact learning and subsequent outcomes for students. Chronic absenteeism starting in pre-K and kindergarten is associated with lower proficiency levels in reading and math and social and emotional development.

This paper highlights some of the root causes of chronic absenteeism and three opportunities for improvement following the “Do Now, Build Toward” framework. A framework for thinking about how philanthropy can support efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism. The three opportunities this paper dives into are:

  1. Foster near-term and longer-term solutions that address student engagement and sense of belonging in school
  2. Invest in programs, tools and resources to support asset-based family engagement in schools
  3. Support local education agencies (LEAs) and state education agencies (SEAs) to integrate leading indicators of chronic absenteeism into their data systems

Download the full publication

What’s next? Action steps to help you benefit from our expertise:

Work with us Gain insights Learn about our expertise