Sickness & Wintry Weather Aren't The Only School Attendance Problems

Sickness and wintry weather aren't the only things causing attendance problems for students.

A new state law is cracking down on tardies and holding students and schools accountable.

Madison Shoffner says she and many other students have to miss school sometimes because they're not feeling well or they might have an appointment.

"Orthodontist is a big thing at school, everybody's checking out or coming in late," Shoffner said.

But Shoffner says even if it's excused, students think twice before missing school for anything since a new statewide attendance rule started this school year.

In the past students that came in late to school, but in before lunchtime, would just be counted as tardy.

Now, the state is holding students and schools more closely accountable for every minute of school.

"If a student is out more than 61 minutes the district loses money for that student," John Chadwell, Middlesboro Independent Schools.

"Anytime a student misses more than sixty minutes of school, it counts as a tardy. Now, six of those tardies add up to a full one day absence from school. After six unexcused absences the student is sent to the court system," Chadwell said.

School administrators are watching attendance closely.

They have fixed costs everyday, but only get money from the state according to the amount of time students spend in school.

Madison Shoffner says it's been tough to get used to, but she's been able to keep her tardies from adding up to any absences so far.


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