Public schools across the country have reported falling attendance numbers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with districts unable to locate thousands of students not showing up to virtual or in-person instruction, according to ABC News.
Michigan lost 53,000 of its 1.5 million K-12 students, with about 13,000 completely unaccounted for according to state Superintendent Michael Rice, who wrote in December: “The granular work to find children must take place at the local level. Every child is important. To lose even one is too many.”
A representative for the Dallas Independent School District told ABC News that about 12,000 students, out of 153,000 expected to be enrolled, are unaccounted for: 9,000 from high schools, 2,000 from middle schools, and 1,000 from elementary schools.
Florida officials cannot locate about 88,000 students, according to ABC News, out of about 2.8 million who were enrolled last year, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said that in his district there are about 1,000 students who are “truly missing,” which he said is “deeply troubling.”
He added, “We believe that these were the students who were in crisis prior to the COVID-19 crisis. These were probably poor students, probably English language learners, learners who may have had a disability, may have had home insecurity, food insecurity and may have had a fragile immigration status.”
ABC News notes that part of the reason for so many children are missing from school is a lack of access to the internet and other technology needed for remote learning during the pandemic. A report from the National Education Association found that about 25% of school-age children lack access to broadband or a device that can access the internet.
Mike Magee, the chief executive of the bipartisan nonprofit network Chiefs for Change, said that about 17 million students at the beginning of the pandemic lacked adequate access to the internet.
“From a learning standpoint, that was potentially catastrophic,” he said. “What we've learned, over the course of the last 12 months, is that from both a learning and a health perspective, there are millions of students for whom virtual learning just is not working.”
Magee added, “there's a subset of those students who are completely detached from their school systems at the moment.”
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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