Law Sets Single Standard for School Absences

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Jackson, Miss.

A new Mississippi law seeks to clarify a school funding formula by setting a single standard for all school districts to count absences. House Bill 1530 becomes law July 1.

The new law says a child who misses more than 37 percent of any school day must be considered absent for the entire day.

The standard is important because state education funding is based partly on average daily attendance figures.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering told lawmakers in January that different school districts were counting absences in different ways, and he believed some were inflating their daily attendance numbers.

He said the differences made it impossible for his office to verify the accuracy of the school funding formula, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.