Detroit Evening Report: Attendance rates in Michigan schools reach five-year low

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Attendance in Michigan schools fell during the 2021-22 academic year.

The Detroit Free Press reports the statewide attendance rate has fallen below 90 percent for the first time in five years, hitting 88 percent last year. Detroit’s public school system has struggled with attendance throughout the COVID pandemic. DPSCD’s attendance rate for the 2021 school year was around 75 percent.

“There has to be a recommitment to intentionally addressing chronic absenteeism here in this great state of Michigan,” Delsa Chapman, deputy superintendent at the Michigan Department of Education, told the Free Press.

According to Sarah Lenhoff, a professor of education at Wayne State University, housing insecurity made worse by the pandemic is a major factor in chronic absenteeism.

“We’re seeing that revert back to normal and maybe even worse than normal in terms of students experiencing housing instability,” Lenhoff said. “We know that housing instability, homelessness, eviction are just really high correlates to attendance problems.”

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.