Chronic absenteeism among teachers is on the rise, according to federal data, reports the Washington Post. Twenty-seven percent of teachers — more than 75 percent in some districts — missed more than 10 days of school in 2014.
Absenteeism is highest in poor, rural areas and inner cities.
In the Alamance-Burlington School System, located between Greensboro and Chapel Hill, N.C., 80 percent of its 1,500 teachers missed more than 10 days of school in the 2013-2014 school year. Cleveland reported that about 84 percent of its 2,700 teachers had excessive absences. Nevada’s Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, reported that more than half of its 17,000 teachers were chronically absent.
Students learn significantly less if their teachers are absent for 10 or more days, concludes the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Fifty-eight percent of teachers were chronically absent at Washington, D.C.’s Stuart-Hobson Middle School in 2014, reports the Post. Several said it’s a stressful place to teach.
“I would wake up in a panic and feeling like there was a pit in my stomach,” Sean McGrath, a former social studies teacher. “It was a feeling of dread and despair.” After logging seven absences in September, McGrath quit his job.