Linda Borg reports in the Providence Journal:
A national education magazine reports that Rhode Island has among the highest rates of chronic teacher absenteeism in the nation.
Among the states in the Civil Rights Data Collection, Nevada had the highest percentage of teachers, with nearly half of all teachers taking more than 10 days off, followed by Hawaii, at 48 percent, and Rhode Island, at 41 percent, according to a story in Education Week.
In South Dakota, the state with the lowest rate of teacher absenteeism, only 18 percent took more than 10 days off.
That’s on a work-year of generally 180 days, and it’s in addition to things like field trips and professional days taken as part of work. Granted, the absent time includes sick and personal time, but the state-by-state comparison is the central concern.
Considering that Rhode Island is pretty much the average state on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, having a big chunk of the school year with absent teachers suggests missed opportunities. That suggestion is reinforced by the Ocean State’s status as last in New England by this measure.