WMBF Investigates 'chronic absenteeism' among teachers at local schools

WMBF Investigates 'chronic absenteeism' among teachers at local schools

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Getting to school is the first step toward your kids getting an education, but the National Council on Teacher Quality says a student's success also depends on how many days their teachers miss.

It's a simple concept - if a teacher isn't at school, he or she can't have an impact on your kids.

The WMBF News Investigates team looked into absenteeism in Horry County Schools. The most recent data available is from 2013.

The U.S. Department of Education found 932 Horry County teachers missed ten or more days - that's more than a third of all of the district's teachers. That's what this study refers to as "chronic absenteeism."

The school with the highest percentage of chronically-absent teachers was Saint James Elementary at more than 51 percent, followed by Green Sea Floyds High, Conway High, and Pee Dee Elementary.

The school where teacher absenteeism appears to be least of an issue was the Palmetto Academy of Learning Motorsports, where none of the 12 teachers missed more than ten days.

In fact, the four best results all come from charter schools.

So why does this really matter? It's not like your kids don't learn when their teacher is out. A substitute is called in to make sure class goes on. Data the NCTQ collected found teacher attendance is directly related to a student's success. The research group says when a teacher misses ten or more days, it's basically the same as your child having a brand new teacher versus one with several years of experience.

We reached out to Horry County Schools about teacher absenteeism is the district. We're still waiting to hear back.

There are a lot of other schools in Horry County and other districts in our area. You can see a complete list of all local schools and the chronic absenteeism rate of their teachers in the document below:

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