News Bite

More Detroit School District Students Chronically Absent Than Not

54.1% were absent last school year, down from previous years

In 2019-20, more Detroit school district students were considered “chronically absent” than not.

There were 29,047 students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District who were labeled as chronically absent, according to state records. That comes to 54.1% of the district’s enrollment of 53,666. The state average for the year was 20.4%.

The Michigan Department of Education defines “chronically absent” students as those who “are enrolled for at least 10 school days, and absent 10% or more of their total possible attendance.” A typical school calendar has 180 days, so “chronically absent” would mean missing about 18 days of school.

The current figure shows an improvement for the district over the previous two years. In the 2018-19 year, 62.1% of students were chronically absent, and in 2017-18, the number was even higher, at 70.3%.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.