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The Washington Post: Students who miss school get help, not punishment

November 24, 2023

Students enter school in Maryland.

Donna St. George of The Washington Post takes a look at a new program in Montgomery County, MD which aims to get kids back to class amid a national wave of absenteeism. Policy Attorney Danielle Robinette spoke to the impact of comparable programs in DC.

Even though the worst of the coronavirus pandemic may be finished, students across the country continue to rack up absences at alarming levels. An analysis released in October showed two-thirds of the nation’s schools faced severe absenteeism in 2021-2022, with no signs yet of a widespread rebound in the year that has followed.

In D.C., where several efforts focus on the issue, some have shown promising results but are small or underfunded, said Danielle Robinette, a policy attorney at the Children’s Law Center. She said programs with an individualized approach have been more effective than those that are punitive.

Photo credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post

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