Press Pass: High absentee rates at Buffalo schools

Oct 6, 2015

High absentee rates continue to prevent student achievement and graduation in the Buffalo Public School District. The Buffalo News recently wrote two major stories about the problem in its 'How to Fix Buffalo' schools series.  This week in our Press Pass conversation, WBFO's Eileen Buckley talks with Buffalo News Education reporter Mary Pasciak about her extensive articles.  

Buffalo Public School classroom.
Credit WBFO News file photo

"Most people probably don't realize just how bad the situation is," said Pasciak. "In high school, more than half of students miss basically more than a month of school and pretty good percentages of those students miss two months or more."

In her first article, 'In Buffalo schools, absenteeism is rampant', Pasciak reports on the epidemic of students failing to attend school.

Mary Pasciak, Buffalo News Education Reporter, inside the WBFO studio.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Pasciak wrote how there are few consequences for city students when they fail to show up for school.

"Students have a sense that there's nothing that's going to happen to them if they don't show up for school and it is very frustrating for a lot of the adults involved," said Pasciak.

In part two, 'How L.A. gets kids to show up at school', reveals how the L.A. district follows tough consequences for 'truancy and tardiness'.  

"Los Angles has very clearly stated goals for attendance. They don't want kids missing any more than seven days of the school year," noted Pasciak. "They also have a lot more in place in terms of consequences."