The cost to schools of absenteeism
Submitted by Rene’ Forsmann, 
Principal, Prairie Middle School
Have you as a parent ever wondered what it costs the school when your child is absent from school?   According to the state department’s public school finance coordinator, funding is generated based on units.  Each unit in our district is worth approximately $103,392.00.  Each elementary school student in grades 1-6 generates approximately $30.00 for every day that student is in attendance.  Each secondary student in grades 7-12 generate approximately $48.00 for every day that student is in attendance.  These figures are based on 180 days of school.  
We looked at our attendance from August 27, 2008 up through March 6, 2009 and found the following information:
Students in grades 1-4 were absent 409 days during this time period.  If students were in attendance 100% of the time, this would have generated approximately $12,270.00 more in attendance.  Students in grades 5 -6 were absent approximately 444 days, resulting in a loss of approximately $13,320.00.  As you get into the secondary grades 7-12, you find each student worth approximately $48.00.  Students in grades 7 – 8, were absent approximately 358 days.  If we would have had perfect attendance during this time frame, we would have generated approximately $17,184.00 more in attendance revenue.  At the high school, students were gone approximately 1,178 days resulting in a loss of approximately $56,544.00.  As we totaled the figures, we came up with an attendance loss of approximately $99,318.00.  
What constitutes an absence:  Students who are sick, needed at home, funerals, suspended, truant, family vacation, and out of town are a few examples.   When a student is out of school for an activity related to school, they are counted present for that time period.  Examples include:  ASVAB testing, clinicals, sporting activities, college day, job shadows, snowed in, volunteer work, and field trips.  
We hope this provides parents with good information.  It isn’t too late to really work hard on getting kids to school and working on recovering some of the attendance dollars.  Our funding is based on our best 28 weeks of school. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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