Districts find youngest students among most absent

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
President Barack Obama

In this Friday, March 1, 2013 photo, Bill Fulton, dressed as Ready Freddy, visits with prekindergarten students at a public school in Buffalo, N.Y. President Barack Obama’s proposal to expand access to preschool is seen as a way to close the achievement gap for poor and minority students, improve high school graduation rates and ultimately strengthen the workforce.

President Barack Obama's proposal to expand access to preschool is seen as a way to close the achievement gap for poor and minority students, improve high school graduation rates and ultimately strengthen the workforce.

But that can't happen if children don't show up.

Educators say a district's youngest students are often among those with the worst attendance because in many cases, prekindergarten and kindergarten is voluntary. And many parents regard it as little more than babysitting, rather than a chance to build fundamental literacy and math skills.

Buffalo is among several districts taking steps to fight that, in part by identifying which students are considered chronically absent and then reaching out to educate families.


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