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Tell us: What obstacles does your family face in Detroit?

How Michigan’s struggles with chronic absenteeism undermine education.

Families in Detroit and Michigan are struggling to get their students to school.

If you know why, We want to know your story.

Some parents told us they face housing insecurity, such as evictions and moving to other parts of town.

Other parents say the problem is transportation – inadequate bus service or car problems.

“Right now I have a lot on me, but it’s going to get better,” said Jennifer Garrison, who has two children who attend K-12 schools in the Detroit district. She asks people for walks or borrows cars to take them to school. “I will soon have a car, and they will be transported as they are supposed to be.”

Families generally do their best to bring children to school, as interviews with parents and researchers show. They know that low attendance has disastrous effects on student learning. Research shows that frequently absent students tender at lower score in reading and math exams and are more likely to drop out of high school.

Yet chronic absenteeism is widespread. Last year, two-thirds of students in the city of Detroit missed school at least 10% of the time. Half a million students across the state have missed that much school.

What is happening here? How can we help students get to school?

Share your story with the community as part of Chalkbeat Detroit’s report on the causes and solutions to absenteeism.

By explaining your barriers to attendance, you can raise awareness of this critical issue and connect with reporters who can answer your questions about available resources.

If you are having difficulty viewing this form, go here.

Koby Levin is a reporter for Chalkbeat Detroit, covering K-12 schools and early childhood education. Contact Koby at [email protected].

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