A new state report shows that the elementary school truancy is not only a big problem statewide, it’s also a major concern in Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties.
Across the state, nearly 30% of all elementary school students, or some 982,000 kids, were truant at some point during the last school year.
Locally, for the 2011-2012 year, statistics released by the State Attorney General’s Office show 17% of Ventura County’s elementary school students were truant at some point.
That’s more than 12,000 of the county’s 74,000 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 the state’s numbers are 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.