Race, Absenteeism, and Juvenile Court Involvement

School absenteeism policies may be a key driver of racial disparities in students’ juvenile court involvement, according to a new study.

The study, coauthored by the University of Tennessee’s Clea McNeely, examined absenteeism policies in nearly 100 districts across the U.S., finding that students of color may be significantly more likely to be declared truant than their white classmates.

The study, supported the Spencer Foundation, also examined the relationship between truancy and juvenile court involvement in three districts, finding that absenteeism policies may play a significant role in disparate outcomes between white students and students of color.

McNeely joins CPRE Knowledge Hub managing editor Keith Heumiller to discuss those findings, and some important implications for policymakers, school leaders and other stakeholders across the country.