NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Representatives from the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury spoke before the state general assembly Wednesday about student absenteeism.
There are two types of absenteeism, chronic absenteeism and truancy.
Chronic absenteeism is when a student misses 10 percent or more of instructional days in a school year including excused absences.
Truancy is when a student has five or more unexcused absences in a school year.
Three groups were above the state average in chronic absenteeism: Economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities and Black and Hispanic students.
All of the numbers that were used in this research were from the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
Dana Brimm, a legislative research analyst for the comptroller's office of research and education accountability, said that the truancy data they had was too problematic to use.
"An unexcused absence in one district may not have been an unexcused absence in another district," Brimm said. "So it's very possible for a student to be considered truant in one district and not in another."
There were suggestions from state representatives around the room to tighten the definition of truancy to avoid inconsistencies in the data.