When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when all you have is the ability to fund government programs, then the solution to everything is funding government programs. No matter how backward that might be.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday a plan for states to provide more tutoring, after-school and summer programs and funding to tackle chronic absenteeism.
They’re not coming to school, so let’s spend billions on after-school and summer programs.
The chronic absenteeism rate reached about 31% in 2021-2022 because of COVID-19.
It wasn’t COVID-19, but the decision by teachers’ unions to shut down schools. School attendance has proven a lot easier to break than to fix.
In California, chronic absenteeism still hovers around the 30% mark. One survey of 11 states pegged it at around a quarter.
The data was aggregated across 11 states (DE, CO, CT, MA, MS, NE, NV, NM, ND, OH, VA). In the 2022-23 school year there was only a small (2.23%) decrease in chronic absence rates, to 27.85%, when compared to the prior year, our analysis shows
So it’s a moderate improvement within a pretty awful score. It also helps explain the rising crime rate.
After school programs are not fixing this.
And one basic issue is that the same teachers’ unions that shut down schools also led the way in dismantling testing and other standards. Students are being promoted anyway so they don’t even bother showing up. When tests don’t matter and education doesn’t matter, why should they come to class?
Instead of reversing course and bringing back standards, the Biden administration is proposing to throw more money at more programming when students aren’t even showing up for the existing programming.