NJ's "Staggering" Problem of Chronic Absenteeism: New Report

The Advocates for Children of New Jersey has a new report out called “Showing Up Matters: The State of Chronic Absenteeism in New Jersey.”

From the report:
Children can only succeed when they regularly attend school. Yet a staggering 125,000 New Jersey K-12 students were “chronically absent” in the 2013-2014 school year—many of whom were very young students or in their high school years. ACNJ’s report highlights statewide data, identifies causes that lead to student absences, provides recommendations for schools and families and identifies districts, by county that are struggling with high student absences.
Read the whole thing, but one particularly useful feature is a district-by-district tallying of chronic absenteeism, defined as “missing 10 percent or more excused or unexcused school days.  Based on a 180-day school year, any student who misses 18 days or more per year—or about two days every month, is considered chronically absent."

I pulled out the districts with higher than 18% of students who are chronically absent. Here they are:

Irvington: 20%
East Orange: 23%
Atlantic City: 18%
Trenton: 25%
Asbury Park: 18%
Long Branch City: 21%
Keansburg: 23%
Beach Haven Borough 18%
Seaside Heights Borough: 38% (!)
Salem City: 25%
Alloway Township: 18%
Hamburg Boro 25%

Among these 13 school districts, 8 are low-income Abbott districts which receive significant compensatory funding based on State Supreme Court rulings.  Atlantic City and Seaside Heights are economically-disadvantaged enough to have that designation. As the report notes, "students from low-income families and children of color are more likely to become chronically absent." I don’t know what’s up in Beach Haven, Alloway, or Hamburg.