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

October 29, 2019

Education Project Manager Lennie Jarratt talks with Policy Analyst Tim Benson about absenteeism in West Virginia public schools.

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.

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Lennie Jarratt is the former director of the Center for Education Opportunities at The Heartland Institute @LennieJarratt
Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department. @HeartlandGR