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Two of Ohio’s Biggest Districts Have High Teacher Absenteeism Rates, Report Says

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM

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Photo courtesy of TheGoogly/Flickr.

Teachers show up for class 94 percent of the time, according to a new survey of the country's biggest school districts. But the National Council on Teacher Quality also reports attendance is far less in some districts, including the two biggest ones in Ohio. StateImpact reporter Amy Hansen has the story.

Cleveland’s teachers missed more classes than any of the other 40 big-city districts surveyed; more than Washington D.C. and New York and other big city school systems. Cleveland teachers were absent three weeks per year, or 15.60 days, on average.

Columbus had the second highest number of teacher absences with an average of 14.82 days.

Some of those absences could have been for teacher training sessions. The survey counted those as well as absences for illness and personal reasons.

In the view of the teacher quality advocacy group, an absence is an absence.

“Regardless of the reason, we need both districts and teachers to do everything they can to minimize the time a teacher’s away from their class,” National Council on Teacher Quality’s Nancy Waymack, one of the report’s authors, said.

Aside from the loss of learning students may suffer when their classroom teacher is out, there’s another loss: money.

Collectively, the 40 districts spent more than $420 million to pay for substitute teachers last year, the report said. 

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