ClancyA Kentucky

Chronic Student Absenteeism and Transiency

Chronic Student Absenteeism and Transiency

Dear Future President, 

As you can see above, KY is a beautiful place.  But like all places, we have some serious problems. 

One problem that I bet  is plaguing many states in the US is poverty and children.  Homelessness with children- which is identified as living in a residence other than your own-  and there is a lot of that going on. 

Single parents or parents who have fallen on hard times. Most who live pay check to paycheck and when the car breaks down- what do they do? These families lose their homes and begin seeking help from family and friends. In other cases, there is a break-up in the family and one parent (usually the female) takes the children to a parent's to live until she can get back on her feet. In most cases, these children end up going to a different county and thus a different school. It wouldn't be so bad if it happened once, but these children are being moved time and again for various reasons and they are appearing in various schools for short periods of time and then they are gone. 

When a child is uncertain of their current needs - Will they be met? When parents are working hours to make ends meet and their adolescent child is left to either tend to their own needs and/or the needs of their siblings- Does anyone care? 

I am unsure of the solution- but I do feel that schools need to track and report chronic student absenteeism. I do not feel that parents always need to be prosecuted. How would you feel if you worked from 6 Am until 2 or 3 PM and your teenage son didn't want to go to school so he just didn't. What is a single parent to do? Fine them? They often can barely afford gas to get to and from work. 

Another solution is some kind of communication system between school concerning those students who appear to be transient. How do you determine that? I do not know.  But if we could keep track of those students who move from school to school and sometimes back again- we could keep track of their welfare and provide a better continuum of support via communication between school counselors and principals. 

I don't know- I guess I"m just tired of seeing students come in swelling my class size to 28+ , all the energy exerted to get them caught up and welcomed and then they are gone.  Each time that happens my heart is sad. We need to provide more support for our struggling KY families so they can get better training and the help they need to get on their feet - so they will  become successful productive citizens of Kentucky.  We need to provide better support for those children who are caught in the financial (or otherwise) situations of their parents and who are forced to move to multiple schools, which equates to a lack of stability and it eats at their humanity. 

Please help the families of KY and all families in the US who are struggling to get on their feet. I also ask that you prompt states to watch for transient students in their schools- maybe with help from communities and schools- these families could find a place of their own and these children could have a secure educational future.  

A Clancy