One in Five Maine Students Chronically Absent From School: MDOE Data


The Maine Department of Education makes certain data available through an online portal per the terms of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

All of the items below apply to the 2020-2021 school year, which is the most recent year for which data is available.

Here are a few points of recent data related to Maine schools, teachers, and students:

Maine spends $18,020 per 170,145 students, and

Seventy percent of that cost is on personnel, and Maine has 12,672 teachers.

Of those teachers, 41 percent have only a Bachelor’s Degree, while 34.3 percent have a Masters Degree.

Maine has 6,339 Ed Techs.

The ESSA dashboard says 205 Maine teachers are “unqualified” and 1,912 are “inexperienced.” (See below for definitions of those terms.)

Maine’s student population pyramid is inverted, which means the total population of students will decline over the next decade, barring any sudden changes in migration or fertility. (See the graph below, which measures the number of students at the given grade level.)

Maine schools referred 565 students to law enforcement. Law enforcement made 43 school-related arrests.

One in five Maine students suffers from chronic absenteeism. The DOE defines chronic absenteeism as missing 10 percent or more of school days, including excused absences.

Absentee rates are highest among American Indians (41.8 percent), black or African-American students (35.7 percent), and those from migrant families (53.4 percent).

The lowest rates of chronic absenteeism are Asians (14.5 percent) and students with a parent in the military (13.8 percent).

Students whose first language is not English and students who come from economically disadvantaged families also suffer higher than average rates on chronic absenteeism.

The ESSA dashboard doesn’t have a great user interface and it’s fairly glitchy, but it does offer interesting insights into school data. Users can also look at all of the various measures of school performance for a given school or district. Check it out here.


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