Arizona teachers plan more walk-ins as a Thursday strike looms.
Arizona 10th Worst State For K-12 Student Absenteeism
A new federal report ranks Arizona as the 10th worst state when it comes to K-through-12 absenteeism.
About 16 percent of students here missed more than 15 days during the 2013 school year— higher than the national average of roughly 13 percent.
Charles Tack, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Education, says the agency is well aware of the problem and they hope a new program known as the Zip Code Project can help improve those numbers.
He explained right now they’re targeting four zip codes with high poverty levels and crime rates— "We want to help these students get back on track. And how we’re planning to do that is to work closely with communities…to provide those students with resources."
This is the first time federal education officials have analyzed chronic absence. On a national level, the report found the highest rates among black, Latino, and Native American students and students with disabilities.