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The Long History Behind American Indian Students’ High Rates of Chronic Absenteeism in Minnesota

Chronic absence — missing more than 10 percent of the days in a school year for any reason — is a big problem in Minnesota schools, affecting at least one in six Minnesota students, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Education.

But it affects one group of students more than any other.

Statewide, 38 percent of American Indian students missed 10 percent or more days of school last year — the highest rate of any racial or ethnic group. Missing that much school, research has found, is enough to hurt kids’ academic proficiency and their chances of graduating high school.