News Story

Average Detroit Student Missed 32.73 School Days Last Year

70% of the district’s 50,875 students were chronically absent, vs. 20% statewide

The average student enrolled in the Detroit Public Schools Community District missed 32.73 days of school last year.

The figure comes from data the school district provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The district reported 1,665,352 student absences during the 2017-18 school year. It also reported enrolling 50,875 students in that year.

The data gives more insight into the absenteeism problem in Detroit schools. The district reported previously to the state that in the 2017-18 year, 70.3% of its students were “chronically absent,” defined by the state Department of Education as missing at least 10% of possible school days.

This means that, based on the 181-day school year specified in the district’s teachers union contract, 70% of Detroit students missed at least 18 days of school, and many students missed far more days than that. The statewide average for chronically absent students was 20% in 2017-18.

Chrystal Wilson, spokeswoman for the Detroit Public Schools Community District, didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.