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Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data
NCES 2009-804
February 2009

Appendix B: Differences in State Statutes Regarding Reasons for Student Absences

This chart highlights instances where state statutes differ in categorizing students as “present” and “absent.” The information is not exhaustive, and there may be additional examples not presented in the chart.

Reason Considered present
in state statute
Considered absent
in state statute
Religious instruction Indiana Arizona, California, Florida,
Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania,
West Virginia, Wisconsin
Service on precinct election board
or as a helper to a political candidate or party
Indiana, South Dakota New Jersey
Work training, career education, career and technical
education, vocational education, manual training
program meeting the Department of Education’s
educational standards
Arizona Arkansas
4-H club educational activities Kentucky Arkansas
Parent/custodian is deployed to the armed forces
or is returning from deployment
Kentucky Georgia, Tennessee
Religious holiday New Jersey, Texas Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine,
Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma,
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin