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Why More Than 25% Of US Teachers Are Chronically Absent

By Victor Trammell

Chronic absenteeism in the public school system is not just something that involves students. A sizable amount of teachers are failing to show up for the job at school as well.

The U.S. federal government regularly tracks absenteeism in public school districts across America. According to more recent data, teacher absenteeism is currently at a number, which administrators at a variety of U.S. school districts are calling an “educational crisis.”

The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights says that 27 percent of nation’s teachers are out of school 10 or more days each academic year. This figure is based on self-reported data that school districts track individually. The federal government then compiles that data and comes up with a national average.

However in poor, urban school districts where the majority of students are minority, that number can climb as high as 75 percent of the school district’s teachers missing 10 or more schools days each academic year. These numbers were derived from data that was taken during the 2014-15 academic school year, according to the Washington Post.

Much attention has been paid to the chronic level of student absenteeism and the reasons that cause it. However, how can people expect students to have perfect attendance at public schools when a sizable number of teachers are missing weeks of academic school days per year as well?

The big question here is why are teachers missing so many days during the school year nowadays. However, school district officials in many states don’t have a lot of answers.

“Some point to teachers taking sick leave, maternity leave and personal days to which they are entitled, and others attribute part of the problem to school climate,” wrote Alejandra Matos, an education news reporter for the Washington Post.

There is also a widespread amount of teachers leaving their profession, which creates an influx of substitute teachers reporting to the job instead of permanent instructors performing the duty. Teachers are leaving the profession of public school education for a number of good reasons, such as poor pay and a small chance to receive raises.

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