Press Releases

Committee for Children Applauds Bill to Combat Chronic School Absenteeism

CONTACT: Shauna McBride,, 206.612.8718

Committee for Children Applauds Bill to Combat Chronic School Absenteeism

SEATTLE—Committee for Children (CFC) recently commended Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) for introducing legislation to combat chronic school absenteeism, a widespread problem nationally and particularly in Washington State. The Chronic Absenteeism Reduction Act works to ensure that educators have the resources and tools they need to help students succeed, including support for school-based mentoring programs, better data collection and reporting systems, and training that provides greater awareness of social-emotional learning interventions that build students’ connectedness to school and increase attendance.

Chronic absenteeism, or missing 10 percent or more of the school year, negatively impacts school performance, high school graduation rates, and overall student success. According to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Data Collection, “Research suggests the reasons for chronic absenteeism are as varied as the challenges our students and families face—including poor health, limited transportation, and a lack of safety—which can be particularly acute in disadvantaged communities and areas of poverty.” During the 2013–2014 school year, over 6.8 million students were chronically absent according to a recent report by the Department of Education.

Seattle-based Committee for Children provided early support for the bill and will advocate for its passage. “Chronic absenteeism is a serious challenge in our schools nationwide, as it affects continuity of learning and can predict future academic and social problems among students. We also know that absenteeism is disproportionately high among low-income children and students of color,” said Committee for Children Executive Director Joan Cole Duffell. Washington State has the highest number of public school districts facing chronic absenteeism in the U.S.

“We applaud the bipartisan effort of Representatives Herrera Beutler and Ryan to bring this important piece of legislation into law and are thankful for their commitment to the education, health, and welfare of children,” Duffell commented. “We are especially proud that one of Washington State’s own U.S. representatives is co-sponsoring this bill with Representative Ryan of Ohio.”

For more information, please review the Chronic Absenteeism Reduction Act Bill.


About CFC
Founded in 1978, Committee for Children is a global nonprofit dedicated to fostering the safety and well-being of children through social-emotional learning and development. CFC is the world’s largest provider of research-based educational programs that promote social-emotional skills and prevent bullying and sexual abuse. Today the organization’s curricula reach schools in more than 70 countries, including 30% of all U.S. elementary schools. Each year, more than 10.6 million children benefit from these programs. Learn more at

Connect with CFC on Facebook and Twitter.