Fighting Chronic Absence with a Flu Shot


The full version of this story, published by Healthy Schools Campaign, is available at Below is just an introduction.

Schools in Central Texas had a problem. Students in that region were missing more days than the state average at every single grade level.

This absence problem hits Texas schools on two fronts: student achievement and funding. Data shows high school students who miss 10 or more days of school are three times more likely to drop out than students who miss five days or fewer. In some states, Texas included, school funding is based on a figure called “average daily attendance” rather than total enrollment. That means that schools receive funding only for students that are in school. That also means that the more students are absent—for whatever reason—the less funding the school gets.