West Virginia Teachers Get Paid to Skip School (Guest: Tim Benson)

Published October 29, 2019
Policy Analyst Tim Benson discusses how over half of West Virginia teachers are chronically absent each school year and more than 10 percent miss more than 20 days. In essence, if students miss the same number of days parents can be fined or go to jail, while teachers continue to get paid.
This chronic absenteeism harms students education by reducing “‘instructional intensity’ by creating ‘discontinuities of instruction.’” Test scores bear this out with “only 46 percent tested to grade level in reading, while just 39 percent did so in mathematics.” When compared to charter schools, over a third less teachers were marked with chronic absenteeism.