Florida Public Schools’ Absentee Problem Examined With Interactive Map

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By Mc Nelly Torres
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

Missing too many days of school is a warning sign of problems to come. Truancy and chronic absenteeism can be precursors to higher dropout rates, academic failure and juvenile delinquency, according to research published last year.


NBC 6: Fighting Chronic Absenteeism in Some South Florida Schools is Top Priority for Officials

In Florida, 280,794 students in grades K-12 were absent for 21 days or more during the 2011-12 academic year, setting them on a path to failure. Schools with high numbers of absenteeism could also serve as a red flag.

To find out if your neighborhood school has problems with chronic absenteeism, use the interactive map below, or click here.

NBC6 South Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting collaborated on the research and design of the map. The data comes from the Florida Department of Education and includes reported absenteeism from all public schools during the 2011-2012 academic years.

The data includes total students between the ages of 5 and 17 who missed 21 or more days. It also includes data on each school’s percentage of students qualifying for reduced or free lunches. You can also find the percentage of students meeting state standards on math, reading and writing.

To access information about each school, click on the green, blue, yellow or red dots. Each color represents the percentage of students who missed 21 days or more:

* Green: 11 percent of students missed 21 days or more

* Blue: 12 to 25 percent

* Yellow: 26 to 35 percent

* Red:  35 percent and more

Absent and grades – Google Fusion Tables

-Visualization by Matt Wynn