Change Indicator

Chronic absenteeism in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Students who are chronically absent are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, more likely to fail in middle school and eventually drop out of high school. Chronic absence can be solved when schools, families, and communities work together to create a culture of attendance as early as preschool and kindergarten and regularly monitor progress and identify any barriers to getting to school. See Count ME In

What the data shows
The pandemic had an effect on chronic absenteeism that has continued even past hybrid education and quarantines. Comparing 2018-2019 to four years later, 2022-2023, the percent of students who were chronically absent rose from 16.8% to 27.2%, down slightly from 28.4% the year before. Among students who were economically disadvantaged, the rate rose from 25.3% to 38.4%, while for higher income students, it rose from 10.4% to 20.5%.  For the 2022-2023 school year, 47,118 students, slightly more than half of whom come from families earning less than 185% of the federal poverty rate were chronically absent in Maine.

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Definition and Source



Chronic absenteeism is the number and percent of students in Maine who are chronically absent from school and this is disaggregated by whether the student's family is or is not economically disadvantaged. A student is defined as being chronically absent if the student is absent 10% or more of the days enrolled or for a typical school year at a rate which would lead to 18 or more absences, including both excused and unexcused absences.  Economically disadvantaged refers to students who live in families whose income is 185% or below federal poverty levels. This was $55,500 for a family of four persons in 2023. The year 2023 refers to the school year from September 2022- June 2023.


Last Updated

December 2023