DES MOINES — Yesterday Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at their weekly press conference the creation of a Chronic Absenteeism Advisory Council to address chronic absenteeism in Iowa schools.
Branstad and Reynolds were joined by Jean Kresse, President and CEO of United Way of Story County and current Board Chair of the statewide United Ways of Iowa organization. Plans to create the Chronic Absenteeism Advisory Council were announced at the 2016 Future Ready
Iowa Summit, which began a statewide conversation about how to close the skills gap, one of the biggest challenges Iowa faces.
Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of schools days for any reason, excused or unexcused. In Iowa, that means at least 18 days of school a year, or nearly a month. Chronically absent students are more than one and a half times less likely to be proficient in reading by the end of third grade according to analysis by the Child and Family Policy Center. In Iowa, nearly 25 percent of students did not read proficiently by the end of third grade in 2014-2015. Those numbers reflect the skills gap that could potentially be keeping students from graduating from high school ready for college or career training.
The Council will meet once a month in Des Moines at the Grimes State Office Building starting in August and make final recommendations to the Administration in November. Each meeting is held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Council includes many educators, school board representatives, non-profit and business leaders as well as state legislators.
Tuesday, August 16 – Basement Room 100
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – ICN Room, Second Floor
Tuesday, Oct. 18 – Basement Room 100
Tuesday, Nov. 15 – Basement Room 100
Story provided by The Oskaloosa Herald