Key Coverage

Lost Days: Poverty, Isolation Drive Students Away From School In California’s Rural Districts

Twenty-six percent, or about 600 students, at Oroville Union High School District were chronically absent during the 2017-18 school year, according to an EdSource analysis of California Department of Education data.

Statewide, more than 700,000 students, or about 11 percent, were chronically absent. About 10 percent of the 1,000 districts statewide had rates near the level of Oroville Union High’s or significantly higher. Most of those districts were in rural areas, the analysis found:

Of the 98 districts with rates higher than 20 percent, 84 were in rural areas.

Of the 27 districts with rates higher than 30 percent, 26 were in rural areas.

Of the 40 counties where rates were above the statewide average, 30 are rural as identified by Rural County Representatives of California, a statewide group.

Students who are regularly missing school can be found in cities, suburbs and small towns throughout California and the United States.