Chronic absenteeism rate decreases to 23.9% for Mississippi school districts in 2022-23

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

23.9% of Mississippi public school students were chronically absent in 2022-23, marking a decrease from 28% in the previous year, according to the latest report from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).

During the 2022-23 school year, 108,310 students were chronically absent, down from 128,275 in 2021-22. The rates decreased across all K-12 grades, with the highest absenteeism in kindergarten at 26.4%, grade 8 at 25.4%, and grade 12 at 39.5%.

Chronic absenteeism is when students miss 10% (18 days) of the school year for any reason, including both excused and unexcused absences. This differs from Average Daily Attendance (ADA), which measures the daily average of enrolled students attending school.

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Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education, commented, “Seeing Mississippi’s chronic absenteeism rate decrease is a welcomed sign. The MDE encourages everyone to make regular attendance a priority.”

MDE has been reporting on chronic absence since 2016, with the lowest rate of 13% recorded in 2018-19. The spike in 2021-22 rates is largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address this issue, MDE recently launched an attendance campaign titled “Every School Day Counts – Attend to Achieve.” The initiative stresses the importance of regular attendance and offers strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism. MDE aims to extend these efforts beyond September.

For a detailed look at the data, take a look at the the 2022-23 Chronic Absenteeism Report