A look at chronic student absenteeism across America: Washington is worst state

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is out with discouraging new figures on how many students are habitually missing school — and an AP analysis finds the problem is particularly acute in Washington, D.C.

Nearly a third of students in the nation's capital were absent 15 days or more in a single school year.

Washington state and Alaska weren't that far behind, with absentee rates hovering around a quarter of students missing that amount of days.

Florida had the lowest rate of absences: 4.5 percent of students in the state were chronically missing school in the 2013-2014 school year.

Overall, the Education Department numbers show that more than 6.5 million students were absent for at least three weeks of the year. The report marks the first release of chronic absentee figures from the department.

The Education Department reported Tuesday that 13 percent of students were absent 15 or more days during the 2013-2014 year.

A look, using the department's data, at the absentee rate in each of the states.

States Percent Absentee
AK 23
AL 12.5
AR 11.6
AZ 16.5
CA 11.9
CO 16.4
CT 14.6
DC 31.5
DE 15
FL 4.5
GA 11.1
HI 19.7
IA 12.8
ID 10.4
IL 13.1
IN 9.8
KS 14.1
KY 14.6
LA 13.3
MA 12.8
MD 15.2
ME 14.6
MI 18.4
MN 12.6
MO 12
MS 15.8
MT 17.4
NC 13.8
ND 9.8
NE 10.6
NH 12.9
NJ 12.1
NM 11.1
NV 18.1
NY 11.2
OH 15.1
OK 11.6
OR 22.7
PA 15.3
RI 19.3
SC 8.5
SD 11.7
TN 12.7
TX 11.8
UT 15.8
VA 13.2
VT 11.4
WA 24.8
WI 16.2
WV 14.1
WY 14.7
NATIONAL 13.1