A new state report shows San Luis Obispo County has one of the highest elementary school truancy rates in the state.
For the 2011-2012 year, statistics released by the State Attorney General’s Office show 30% of San Luis Obispo County’s ’s elementary school students were truant at some point.
That’s more than 5700 of the county’s 19,000 elementary school students.
In Santa Barbara County, the state figures show that 14% of all elementary school students missed school with unexcused absences.
That’s more than 5300 of the county’s 39,000 elementary school students.
The report says overall 30% average is alarming, noting that when a first grade student has nine or more total absences, they are twice as likely to drop out of high school.
A student is considered truant if they miss school, or are more than 30 minutes late without an excuse three times or more during the school year.
The state report calls for better statistical tracking, and intervention to try to reduce the problem.