California study finds truancy in elementary schools highest among black students

Sep 12, 2014 3:09 PM

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A new state report says African-American elementary students were chronically truant nearly four times the rate of all students during the last school year.

The report released Friday by the California attorney general's office marks the first time the data has been broken down by race and income levels.

Officials say such data is needed to address the problem of truancy.

The report says poverty and suspensions were key contributing factors.

Overall, more than 250,000 elementary school students missed 10 percent or more of the 2013-14 school year.

The absences were highest at the kindergarten and first-grade levels when experts say children build the foundation of their reading skills.

The report says statewide, an estimated 73,000 black elementary students were truant last school year.

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