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Fulfilling the Promise of LCFF for California’s At-Risk Student Populations

Attorney General Harris interviewed by reporters
California’s At-Risk Student Population: 2013-2014
Total K-6 Elementary Students in California 3,339,925
K-6 English learners 1,027,186
Foster Youth (K-12) 58,699 *
Low-income students (K-12) 3,707,508 *
Students with disabilities (K-6) 277,469
* K-6 numbers are not currently available.

Although California’s attendance crisis impacts everyone, certain groups of students are disproportionately affected. Foster youth, English learners, students of color, and students who come from low-income families are more likely to be absent from school and to suffer more as a result.1 Rates of absenteeism for disadvantaged students are one of the clearest indications of the severity of this crisis.

Improving school attendance early on can help address inequitable outcomes for vulnerable student populations in California, in keeping with the goals of LCFF.2 When students attend school regularly, schools can serve as a unique place of stability in a child’s life, providing access to critical health and meal services these children would otherwise go without.3 In fact, almost 60% of California students participate in the federal government’s Free and Reduced Price Meal (FRPM) program.4 But these benefits are useless if they only serve an empty chair.

One Teacher’s Dedication to a Struggling Student

"Rebecca* was one of my students a few years ago, and she was homeless when she started kindergarten with me. Even though their family had no stable place to live, and no car, her mother was deeply invested in their education and made their attendance at school a priority. She and I worked together to make sure both Rebecca and her brother were at school every morning in time to eat the free breakfast our school provides (most days they took the public bus, and some days I drove them to school). Leslie's life was spinning around her, but I’m proud to say that my classroom became a protected and stable place for her to feel safe, cared for and successful."

–Teacher, Oakland Unified School District

*Student name changed for privacy

Attendance & LCFF

The passage of LCFF marks a new era for California’s education system. As such, LCFF offers an important opportunity for schools to more aggressively address the unique and heightened needs of their disadvantaged student populations. LCFF is structured to require additional financial and academic support for at-risk students, including English learners, low-income students, and foster youth. Under the new funding formula, districts receive an additional 20% of their base funding for every enrolled student who is classified as an English learner, low-income, or foster youth.5 In addition to this supplemental grant, districts with 55% or more students fitting into the abovementioned categories also receive an extra 50% of the base amount for every disadvantaged student beyond the 55% threshold.6 Ultimately, this means that districts will receive between $1,369 and $5,802 in additional funding for their district for each at-risk student—resulting in more money for schools with greater student need.

In exchange for the additional resources, school districts and counties have a responsibility under California law to make sure that a proportional amount of their funding is used to serve these disadvantaged populations.7 These efforts must also be separately described in each district’s LCAP.8 The Attorney General’s Office has distributed a sample LCAP with suggestions for how districts could meet these requirements with respect to attendance.

Over 75% of district LCAPs and over 50% of district survey responses fail to identify goals or actions to improve attendance for disadvantaged students.

However, many school districts do not have the information they need to provide the baseline attendance information required in their district LCAPs,9 which makes it difficult to set realistic attendance improvement goals for disadvantaged student populations.

The majority of districts do not focus on improving attendance for their disadvantaged student populations in their district LCAPs. Sixty percent of the district LCAPs we analyzed fail to identify unique goals or actions to improve attendance for any of their disadvantaged students. Of the remaining districts, only 22% fully comply with LCAP requirements by setting individual goals for each required10 subgroup.11 This means that 78% of school districts in our analysis present incomplete or inadequate goals and action plans to improve attendance for disadvantaged students.

Additional analyses similarly indicate the need to bolster attention to improving attendance for disadvantaged students. An analysis of 80 district LCAPs by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Children Now and Attendance Works similarly found that only 5% (4 out of 80 districts) set forth chronic absence goals disaggregated by LCFF subgroup.

Clearly, school districts need better information and resources to develop tailored goals for these subgroups. California has the power to help school districts obtain the information they lack. Passage of AB 1866, for instance, would provide every school district in California with the ability to track attendance using CALPADS and analyze attendance rates by subgroup. Districts would then be able to establish baseline attendance rates that could inform their future goals for reducing chronic absence and improving attendance.

FINDING: DISTRICTS NEED ADDITIONAL TOOLS FROM THE STATE TO INCLUDE ATTENDANCE INFORMATION AND GOALS FOR DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS IN THEIR DISTRICT LCAPS.

For those LCAPs that did contain attendance goals for LCFF targeted populations, there are some positive signs of increased efforts.12 For instance, the Elk Grove Unified School District identified transportation as a barrier to attendance for their low-income students, and therefore allocated $3 million in their LCAP to purchasing more school buses to help address the problem. San Diego Unified School District has dedicated $2.1 million annually to hire specialized staff and mentors who will, among other things, monitor the attendance rates of foster youth at high incidence schools. These and other initiatives are examples of the creative ways supplemental and concentration funds can be used to improve school attendance for at-risk students.

Foster, Homeless, and Migrant Students

Foster Youth Statistics

Foster, homeless, and migrant students face heightened barriers to attendance in California. In addition, as the following section discusses in detail, they and other high mobility students present unique challenges for the school districts that attempt to monitor and improve their attendance.

Students in foster care, who number over 58,000 in California,13 can be as much as two times more likely to be absent from school than other students according to national, multistate, and local reports.14 For example, Sacramento City Unified reported that 31.1% of its foster youth were chronically absent – nearly twice the district's average rate of 15.7%.15 Our study of attendance rates for foster youth using Aeries data confirms these high rates of absenteeism. In grades K-6, 22% of foster students in the sample were truant in 2013-2014, and nearly 1 in 10 were chronically absent.

Homeless children also face severe attendance challenges. In 2011-2012, over a million children were homeless in the United States. California was among the states with the highest population of homeless children that year, accounting for 21.3% of the national total.16 Only 88% of homeless children are enrolled in school, and up to 45% do not attend school on a regular basis.17 Estimated rates of chronic absence for homeless students were twice the rates for all students, according to data provided through Aeries. Moreover, approximately 1 in 3 homeless students was truant, and 1 in 20 homeless students were chronically truant, or had missed over 18 days due to unexcused absences.

Up to 45% of homeless children do not attend school on a regular basis.

These missed days add up. Approximately 75% of foster youth perform below grade level standards, and by third grade 80% have had to repeat a grade in school. Overall, foster and homeless youth are less likely to graduate high school18 and more likely to rely on public assistance.19 Moreover, adults who previously spent time in the foster care system are incarcerated at disproportionately higher levels in California State Penitentiaries.20

Migrant youth face barriers to attendance similar to homeless and foster youth, including language barriers, unstable housing, and greater financial responsibility within their families. As a result of these and other obstacles, migrant students maintain high dropout rates and low academic achievement and engagement.21 Nationwide, only half of migrant students graduate from high school–far fewer than most student subgroups.22 Unfortunately, data on the attendance rates for migrant students is currently not publicly available. This lack of data hampers our ability to gauge the extent of attendance problems for migrant students.

High Mobility Students

Over 428,000 students transferred schools between October 2012 and October 2013 in California.

Districts face particular challenges monitoring attendance for students who transfer schools. Approximately 7% of all students in California—or over 428,000 students—transferred schools between October 2012 and October 2013.23 Sixty-five percent of California students transfer at least once between 1st and 8th grade, and 26% change schools three or more times during that period.24 Disadvantaged student populations such as foster youth,25 homeless children,26 and migrant youth,27 are much more likely to transfer than their peers. For example, nearly 660,000 migrant students change schools each year as their families shift in and out of seasonal work.28

Youth in foster care experience a change in placement about once every six months, and can move schools on average one to two times per year.29 In one study, foster students reported an average of over eight school transfers and over seven placement changes for an average of less than seven years spent in foster care.30 During these transfers, delays in school registration and missing documents or records can cause months of lost learning time.31 According to one study, "foster youth lose an average of four to six months of educational attainment each time they change schools.”32 With each school change, foster youth fall further behind academically.33

In Los Angeles County, districts include a bright orange indicator in the student’s cumulative file if he or she is going through the SARB process. If the student transfers districts, the Orange indicator alerts the incoming district of the student’s attendance history.

Despite the large populations of transient students in California, school districts do not have a consistent system in place to send or receive attendance histories for transferring students because attendance information is stored locally, with no statewide infrastructure. Indeed, less than half of districts surveyed reported that their district has any system in place to alert the receiving school about a student's attendance history when a student transfers into their district.34 One district responded bluntly: "Yes [we have a system in place], however, we do not receive the pertinent information consistently.”35

As a result, when a student comes into a new district, the receiving school is typically unaware of his or her attendance problems. More absences must accrue before any intervention occurs.

Some school districts are notoriously slow (sometimes months and several phone calls) in transferring cum[ulative] folders. - School District Survey response.

Even districts with robust local attendance programs are unable to help these at-risk students until their attendance problems reemerge. The experience of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), one of the most active districts in the state on attendance, illustrates the need for modern state infrastructure. At the beginning of each school year, OUSD informs every principal in the district of the school’s attendance record the previous year, as well as the history of each individual student in that school. Once the school year starts, principals and their staff receive weekly reports on attendance and chronic absence rates at their school, and a roster of students showing their attendance rate, whether they are chronically absent for the year-to-date, whether they are "at risk” of becoming chronically absent, and the number of and reason for absences.36 Schools also learn whether some groups are experiencing especially high absenteeism (e.g., kindergarten and first grade, African American, English Language Learners, or students with disabilities).

These model practices are only as good, however, as the stability of student enrollment in OUSD. Anytime a new student transfers into OUSD, it is unable to serve that student in the same way it serves others. Principals do not have immediate access to that student’s attendance history, and educators are left to wait for previous attendance problems to reemerge. State attendance records would allow OUSD to implement their best practices to serve all its students equally.

School districts need support from the state to modernize and integrate these isolated record systems so that a child transferring from one district to another doesn’t fall through the cracks. Without such improvements, districts will continue to be at the mercy of files assembled by other district records clerks, which can vary substantially in content from school to school and are often not available in a timely manner. In a state that is pioneering the Information Age, these outdated systems are inadequate and inefficient.

Policymakers have already recognized that similar information sharing systems are critical for foster youth and homeless students to receive the support they need to be successful. For example, the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (US Act), signed into law by President Obama, amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to provide welfare agencies who work on foster and homeless youth placements access to those children’s educational records.37 Historically, students often suffered from delays while child welfare workers tried to access school records. The US Act makes it easier for child welfare agencies to retrieve education records that will tell them when a youth is struggling in school. Case workers are then able to collaborate with educators to best support the needs of the child, including providing support for improving school attendance.

In California, as part of LCFF the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is now required to identify youth in foster care for CDE on a weekly basis using CALPADS so that this information can be shared directly with school districts.38 The intention of this requirement is to improve the tracking and reporting of educational outcomes for foster youth, and to determine accurate rates for supplemental and concentration funding for foster youth under LCFF.

Adding attendance records into CALPADS would complete a missing link in LCFF’s infrastructure for serving foster students and other at-risk, mobile populations. By upgrading the statewide infrastructure to collect attendance records, California can support districts who currently struggle to monitor attendance rates for highly mobile students. This will serve not only foster children, but all students.

Low-Income Students

Low-income students are also more likely to miss school than their peers. Our study of records provided by Aeries estimates that for grades K-6, 1 in 10 socioeconomically disadvantaged students was chronically absent in 2013-2014, meaning they missed 10% or more of the school year. Moreover, an estimated 45,000 low-income elementary students were chronically truant across the state, or had accrued 18 or more unexcused absences. Finally, approximately 35,000 low-income students were estimated to be severely chronically absent, meaning they missed more than 20% of the school year, or more than 36 days.

Overall, almost 90% of the elementary students with the most severe attendance problems are low-income.

Students of Color

African American and Latino students—the groups with the highest poverty rates—are more likely to miss school than White and Asian students. According to one study, more than one in five African American and Latino students is chronically absent.39'40

African American students and American Indian or Alaska Native students demonstrate the most dire rates of absenteeism.41 Over 37% of African American elementary students in the Aeries sample were truant, the highest of any subgroup (including homeless students)42 and 15 percentage points higher than the rate for all students. Taken statewide, almost 73,000 African American elementary students are estimated to have been truant in the 2013-2014 school year. Nearly 1 in every 5 African American elementary school students – over 33,000 in total – missed 10% or more of the school year, a rate 2.5 times that of White students in 2013-2014. Most troublingly, African American elementary school students are chronically truant at nearly four times the rate of all students, and are more than three times as likely to miss 36 days of school or more per year. Moreover, these absences are highest during the most important years when children learn to read, a critical benchmark for long-term academic success.

Because these figures have to date gone uncollected by the state, focused cross-district policies to address the attendance crisis among African American children have not yet been formulated. This attendance disparity must be a wake-up call for local and state policymakers. We need not, and should not, accept these figures as inevitable. This is a solvable problem. It is also an important opportunity to narrow racial inequities in education broadly by closing gaps in attendance.

Barriers to Attendance

  • African American children are more than 2xs as likely as white children to be in fair or poor health, and 1 in 10 African American children age 2-5 are obese.43
  • African American children are 2xs as likely to be hospitalized and 4xs more likely to die from asthma as White children, yet nearly 25% of African American children have difficulty affording asthma medications.44
  • More than 75% of African American children born between 1985 and 2000 grew up in "high disadvantage” neighborhoods, characterized by high levels of unemployment, poverty, single-parent families, and segregation, among other factors. Only 5% of White children in the same cohort grew up in such neighborhoods.45
  • The African American unemployment rate for adults is consistently 2xs that of Whites, which bears a direct correlation to the educational achievement of their children.46

Without a more comprehensive, modernized records system, we cannot conclusively explain the stark contrast between African American elementary students’ rates of absence and that of nearly every other subgroup. However, we know that African American children experience many of the most common barriers to attendance – including health issues, poverty, transportation problems, homelessness, and trauma – in greater concentration than most other populations. In addition, disparities in discipline and treatment in school begin from the first day of class, even in pre-kindergarten settings.47 More broadly, experts report greater levels of alienation from school for African American children beginning in the earliest years, due in part to a lack of communication and engagement with parents and families.

Tracking attendance in a modern, statewide system can illuminate patterns like these so that local agencies can direct resources to the students and families that need them most, and begin to untangle the web of causes for those students’ attendance challenges.

Oakland, CA

"At the school where I teach…the rate of chronic absence went from 16% in 2013-14 to 6% just one year later. We accomplished this through many different targeted approaches: closely monitoring student attendance (and different categories of truancy), calling and having meetings with families whose children were frequently absent, conducting home visits when appropriate, connecting families to social service agencies when appropriate, celebrating students with perfect attendance, and following up and tracking longitudinal data on attendance over time. We now have a team of administrators, teachers, and support staff at our school who meet weekly to work specifically on improving student attendance, and it has had dramatic results.”

There are innovative models for engaging and empowering communities of color and other disadvantaged populations to resolve barriers to attendance. For example, school leaders at East Oakland PRIDE elementary school, where almost all students come from low-income families, have been able to cut chronic absence rates among African American boys in half and reduce overall rates from 14.8% in 2011-2012 to 6.5% two years later. They have achieved these results by connecting individually with parents and families to uncover the root causes of the absences, and addressing them head on with the help of a family and community resource center.

Similarly, the Chula Vista School District, a primarily Latino district near the U.S./Mexico border, created School Attendance Review Teams (SARTs) to help schools identify students who were missing too much school and provide counseling to them and their parents. Principals then connect students at their schools with resources, including access to resource centers that can provide wrap-around services that the district itself is not able to provide. The district is also working on deploying new strategies, including daily attendance reports complied through a program called Data Dashboard. Additional examples of success stories from around the country can be found on the Attendance Works website.48

These types of interventions, which take a proactive, supportive approach towards both parents/guardians and students, paired with clear messaging about the importance of school attendance to a child’s long term success, offer promise for improving school attendance for communities of color and disadvantaged students.

Furthermore, the districts that are successful in reducing truancy and chronic absence constantly seek ways to innovate, to use data to inform interventions and work more strategically, and to build new connections with the community and outside resources to better serve their students. As one leader of a youth development organization described, disparities in educational access and treatment in school influence the early stages of a child’s identity formation, and schools and communities must work together to ensure each child feels welcome and valued from the first day of school to the last.

Baltimore, MD

Walk into the storeroom next to Principal Joe Manko’s office at Liberty Elementary School, and you’ll see a visual representation of the Baltimore school’s efforts to reduce chronic absence.

Post-it notes on the wall show how many students have missed one day, two days, three days and more. Each time a student misses a day, excused or unexcused, the post-it note moves down the wall. And a parent gets a call. If the student misses three days, a letter goes home. More absences lead to meetings with families and plans to improve attendance.

Tracking absences is just one piece of the strategy that has helped Liberty—where 94 percent of students come from low-income families and 100 percent are African American—achieve among the highest attendance and achievement rates in Baltimore’s community schools.

The school staff communicates the importance of attendance from Day 1 in messages to students and parents. Students with perfect attendance compete to win prizes every month. The school creates an environment that encourages kids to come to school with free breakfast, lots of field trips and engaging afterschool activities. And it welcomes families with a food pantry, parent training course and other services for the whole community.

English Learners

English Learners, a targeted population under LCFF, are particularly likely to fall behind in the earliest years due to poor attendance. Specifically, students who are chronically absent in Kindergarten are more likely to have lower academic performance in the first grade.49 In 2013-2014 there were almost a million K-5 English learners in California.50 A case study of students in California found that English learners, which comprise almost a quarter of public school students in California, were more likely to be chronically absent than other students.51 Over 18% of the elementary school English learners in our Aeries sample were truant and 6.3% were chronically absent in 2013-2014. Statewide, that suggests an estimated 40,000 or more English Learner elementary students missed at least 10% of the school year.

According to CDE data, English learners have the highest dropout rates in California, exceeding 21%.52

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities also have a greater likelihood of missing school than the average student.53 In 2013-2014, there were over 300,000 K-6 students with disabilities in California.54 One study showed that 24 percent of fourth-grade students with a disability reported missing three or more school days within a single month, which would add up to approximately 15% of the school year.55 Another study of Chicago students found that high rates of absence among students with disabilities was the leading factor in explaining their lower academic performance when compared to their non-disabled peers.56

Our analysis of Aeries data mirrors the high rates of absenteeism for students with disabilities found in other studies. Twenty-seven percent of special education students in our sample were truant and 13% were chronically absent, compared to just an 8% chronic absence rate for all students. Moreover, approximately 3% of special education students were severely chronically absent, or missed over 36 days in the 2013-2014 school year.

FINDING: DISADVANTAGED STUDENT POPULATIONS TARGETED BY LCFF ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE ABSENT FROM SCHOOL THAN THEIR PEERS.

  1. See Monika Sanchez, Truancy and Chronic Absence in Redwood City, JOHN W. GARDNER CENTER FOR YOUTH AND THEIR COMMUNITIES, STANFORD SCHOOL OF EDUCATION 4-5 (April, 2012), http://tinyurl.com/mlsvvqb. See also Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care, RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS ON EDUCATION AND FOSTER CARE 4 (January 2014), http://tinyurl.com/l5ymjhl.
  2. Jason A. Schoeneberger, Longitudinal Attendance Patterns: Developing High School Dropouts, THE CLEARING HOUSE: A JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STRATEGIES, ISSUES AND IDEAS (2012).
  3. In School + On Track 2013
  4. State Reports, ED-DATA (2014) https://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/App_Resx/EdDataClassic/fsTwoPanel.aspx?#!bottom=/_layouts/EdDataClassic/profile.asp?Tab=1&level=04&reportnumber=16&county=00&district=00000&school=0000000.
  5. CAL. EDUC. CODE § 42238.02(e).
  6. CAL. EDUC. CODE § 42238.02(f)(1).
  7. CAL. EDUC. CODE § 42238.07. See also 5 CCR § 15496.
  8. 5 CCR § 15496.
  9. Chapter 1: Missing and Incomplete Records in California Schools
  10. According to CAL. EDUC. CODE § 52060(c)(1), a subgroup is a "numerically significant” subgroup if it meets the definitions provided in CAL. EDUC. CODE § 52052(a)(2)-(3).
  11. CAL. EDUC. CODE § 52060(c)(1)
  12. In this analysis we specifically focused on the way districts address attendance for disadvantaged students. We analyzed a random sample of 40 LCAPs from districts ranging in size and location.
  13. Number of Children in Foster Care, KIDS DATA (2013), http://tinyurl.com/ml2ayvj.
  14. Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care, RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS ON EDUCATION AND FOSTER CARE 4 (January 2014), http://tinyurl.com/l5ymjhl.
  15. Sacramento City Unified School District LCAP (June 19, 2014).
  16. Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Data Collection Summary, NATIONAL CENTER FOR HOMELESS EDUCATION (March 2014), http://center.serve.org/nche/pr/data_comp.php.
  17. Elizabeth A. Mizerek , Homeless Students In The Schools: Information For Educators, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS (2004) http://www.nasponline.org/educators/HCHSIIHomeless.pdf.
  18. Children Now, 2014 California Children’s Report Card (2014), http://tinyurl.com/nzb2hs7; Understanding Foster Youth Educational Outcomes, CALIFORNIA CHILD WELFARE CO-INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (Fall 2011), http://tinyurl.com/o8e845b; Paul A. Toro, Amy Dworsky, and Patrick J. Fowler, Homeless Youth in the United States: Recent Research Findings and Intervention Approaches (2007), http://tinyurl.com/l8mmkcy.
  19. Mark Courtney, Policy Brief: Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, NETWORK ON TRANSITIONS TO ADULTHOOD (April 2005), http://tinyurl.com/oaxvssh.
  20. It has been brought to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office that the 70% incarceration rate formerly reported in this chapter was incorrect. The accurate statistic will be updated accordingly once it is made available by the relevant agencies.
  21. Gerardo R. Lopez, Jay D. Scribner, & Kanya Mahitivanichcha, Redefining Parental Involvement: Lessons from High-Performing Migrant-Impacted Schools, Am. Educ. Res. J. 38 (2001).
  22. Washington State Migrant Education Program: Real Help for Washington States’ Most At-Risk Students, Migrant Education – Harvest of Hope (January 2006), http://www.msdr.org/aboutMEP/MEPBrochure- ENG%20SY05-06.pdf.
  23. CDE, Measurement and Accountability Reporting Division, Report Created August 26, 2014 from CALPADS.
  24. Russell W. Rumberger, Katherine A. Larson, Robert K. Ream & Gregory J. Palardy, The Educational Consequences of Mobility for California Students and Schools, University of California, Santa Barbara 23-24 (February, 1999), http://mina.education.ucsb.edu/rumberger/internet%20pages/Papers/Stuart%20Report--final.pdf.
  25. Vanessa X. Barrat, Beth Ann Berliner, The Invisible Achievement Gap: Education Outcomes of Students in Foster Care in California’s Public Schools THE CENTER FOR THE FUTURE OF TEACHING & LEARNING AT WESTED (2013), http://www.stuartfoundation.org/docs/default-document-library/the-invisible-achievement-gap-report.pdf?sfvrsn=2.
  26. Within a single year, 97 percent of children who are homeless move up to three times and 40 percent attend two different schools. One-third will repeat a grade. The National Center on Family Homelessness: The Cost of Homelessness, http://www.homelesschildrenamerica.org/media/266.pdf.
  27. Migrant Education: Basic State Formula Grants, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, 2005-2006 http://www2.ed.gov/programs/mep/resources.html.
  28. Id.
  29. Questions and Answers: Credit Transfer and School Completion, LEGAL CENTER FOR FOSTER CARE & EDUCATION (2008), http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/child/education/QA_2_Credits_FINAL.authcheckdam.pdf.
  30. Melissa Sullivan, Loring Jones & Sally Mathiesen, School Change, Academic Progress, and Behavior Problems in a Sample of Foster Youth, CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES REVIEW 32, 164-170 (2010).
  31. Foster Children: How You Can Create A Positive Educational Experience for the Foster Child, THE VERA INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE, http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/Foster_children.pdf.
  32. Thomas R. Wolanin, Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth: A Primer for Policy Makers. THE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY (December 2005), http://www.ihep.org/Publications/publications-detail.cfm?id=58
  33. .
  34. David Kerbow, Patterns of Urban Student Mobility and Local School Reform: Technical Report, CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON THE EDUCATION OF STUDENTS PLACED AT RISK (1996), http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED402386.pdf.
  35. Documentation of each student’s academic progress, attendance and test scores for each school year is often kept in their cumulative folder—a confidential file maintained by the student’s school. When a student changes schools, their cumulative file is sent to their receiving school. However, there are often delays in the transfer of cumulative files when a student changes to another school district.
  36. 2014 School District Leadership Survey Response.
  37. Sample reports attached. Names and ID numbers have been changed or deleted to protect student privacy.
  38. The Uninterrupted Scholars Act Amends FERPA to Better Meet the Educational Needs of Children in Foster Care, CHILDREN’S DEFENSE FUND (2013), http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/Uninterrupted-scholars-act-signed-into-law.pdf.
  39. Maya Cooper, Sharing Information to Support the Educational Success of Children in Care: Federated Security and Access Protocols Brief, NATIONAL CENTER FOR YOUTH LAW, FOSTERED INITIATIVE (August 2013), http://www.youthlaw.org/fileadmin/ncyl/youthlaw/child_welfare/FASP_FinalReport.pdf.
  40. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc., Taking Attendance Seriously: How School Absences Undermine Student and School Performance in New York City (May 2011), http://tinyurl.com/knebtlk.
  41. Note: Data from our study with Aeries did not indicate significantly higher rates of absenteeism for Latino students or for English Learners as compared to other populations. Yet, studies conducted in other districts indicate considerably higher rates of chronic absence for these groups. These differences further highlight the need for statewide tracking of every student’s attendance in order to create a comprehensive picture of where the largest attendance problems lie and how to target resources to assist those students.
  42. The smaller sample size for the American Indian and Alaska Native population has led to less consistency in the rates observed in our study.
  43. Note, however, that we do not have the data to control for homeless in the African American sample. We assume some students in the homeless subgroup are African American, and vice versa.
  44. Overweight and Obesity Among African-American Youths, LEADERSHIP FOR HEALTHY COMMUNITIES (May 2010), http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2010/rwjf59623.
  45. Children’s Environmental Health Disparities: Black and African American Children and Asthma, US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY,http://www.epa.gov/epahome/sciencenb/asthma/HD_AA_Asthma.pdf
  46. Patrick Sharkey, Neighborhoods and the Black-White Mobility Gap, THE ECONOMIC MOBILITY PROJECT 10 (July 2009),http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2009/PEWNEIGHBORHOODS1pdf.pdf
  47. Drew Desilver, Black unemployment rate is consistently twice that of whites, PEW RESEARCH CENTER (August 21, 2013),http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/08/21/through-good-times-and-bad-black-unemployment-is-consistently-double-that-of-whites/
  48. Chapter 3: Suspensions Exacerbate the Elementary School Attendance Crisis
  49. http://www.attendanceworks.org/what-works/.
  50. 3rd Grade Reading Success Matters: Chronic Absence, THE CAMPAIGN FOR GRADE-LEVEL READING (2014), http://tinyurl.com/pd9g7r9.
  51. California Department of Education Data Reporting Office, English Learner Students by Language by Grade: State of California 2013-2014 (March 24, 2014), http://tinyurl.com/ooplkvp.
  52. Monika Sanchez, Truancy and Chronic Absence in Redwood City, JOHN W. GARDNER CENTER FOR YOUTH AND THEIR COMMUNITIES, STANFORD SCHOOL OF EDUCATION (April, 2012), http://tinyurl.com/mlsvvqb.
  53. Class of 2013 Cohort Graduation and Dropout Rates, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, http://tinyurl.com/m5n7r3b.
  54. Id.
  55. California Department of Education Special Education Division, Special Education Enrollment by Grade and Disability Statewide Report (December 1, 2013), http://tinyurl.com/ooplkvp.http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/SpecEd/StateRpts/EnrGrdeDis.asp?cChoice=EnrGrdDis1&cLevel=State&cYear=2013-14&ReptCycle=December.
  56. Student Absenteeism, CHILD TRENDS DATA BANK (July 2014), http://tinyurl.com/krxwawh.
  57. Azan Ahmend & Rex Huppke, Disabled students: Report links high absences to poor academic performance in Chicago public high schools, CHICAGO TRIBUNE (December 7, 2009), http://tinyurl.com/lpx39uz.
Chapter 1
Update on the Attendance Crisis
Chapter 3
Suspensions Exacerbate the Attendance Crisis