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WV schools average 14 percent ‘chronically absent’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — About 14 percent of West Virginia’s public school students — 40,000 out of 283,800 pupils in kindergarten through 12th grade — missed at least 15 days of school in the 2013-14 school year, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data released last week.

Data was reported for all West Virginia counties except Tucker, where school officials said employee turnover was to blame for the information not being turned in.

The federal data shows seven counties had about a quarter or more of their students miss at least 15 days, meaning they were labeled “chronically absent.” Cabell had the highest rate, at 29 percent, followed by Mercer at about half a percentage point behind, Wayne at 27 percent, Preston at 26 percent and Monroe, Boone and Summers all about 25 percent.

Three more counties — Wyoming, Webster and Wood — had chronic absenteeism rates exceeding 20 percent…

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