Michigan schools deal with more students skipping classes

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DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan education officials are looking for ways to address an increase in chronic absenteeism among students.

The Detroit News reports that 15.6 percent of students were chronically absent in the 2016-2017 school year, up from 14.7 percent the year before. That means more than 233,500 students were absent for 10 percent of the academic year.

A new law approved last month requires chronic absenteeism rates to be a factor in measuring school quality.

Detroit Public Schools Community District has moved attendance agents into schools to help locate absent students. The district will meet with principals to see how they're improving attendance and share best practices.

Education experts say absenteeism increases the chances that children will have reading issues in elementary school, fail classes in middle school and drop out of high school.