Chronic Absenteeism

During the 2013-14 school year, approximately 15 percent (81,000) of Oregon students were chronically absent from school. Chronically absent students have delayed achievement in early years with widening gaps over time, higher suspension and dropout rates, and decreased high school graduation, college enrollment, and college persistence.  

Increasing attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism requires a student centered approach and collective action. The Chief Education Office (CEdO) conducts research to determine the root causes from the student and family perspective, supports collectively impact through regional collaboratives, and convenes cross agency partners to lead comprehensive strategic planning.




The Chief Education Office (CEdO) has commissioned this report on chronic absenteeism in Oregon schools to better understand this problem in general, to specifically hear from students and families most likely to be chronically absent, and to present recommendations for the State and local communities. The report, created in collaboration with Portland State University and the Coalition of Communities of Color, gathered data through 44 focus groups in seven communities across the State.


House Bill 4002 (2016) directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Chief Education Office to jointly develop a statewide plan to address chronic absenteeism. The plan is to be developed in collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Human Services, and the Early Learning Division. In addition, HB 4002 directed the Chief Education Office to develop a pilot program to support school districts in developing a Trauma Informed approach to education, health services, and intervention strategies.


The Chief Education Office gives funding and technical support to Regional Achievement Collaboratives (RACs) around the state that bring together cross-sector partners to impact equitable student growth. Many of these RACs have a specific focus on increasing student attendance and have already achieved success in this area.

Birth - College & Career System

With our unique vantage point across the learning continuum, we bring strategic leadership from the perspective of a student. One of our critical roles we play is to convene stakeholders, both at the state-level and in communities across the state, who impact student success to build greater coordination and alignment across the seamless system of education. Through ensuring that we bring all voices to the table, we believe we will lead the transformation of our education system driving powerful impact for our students, families and communities.


The Early Learning System in Oregon has three primary focus areas: ensuring that young Oregonians are prepared to succeed in Kindergarten; ensuring family stability; and integrating resources and supports into a coordinated system that most effectively supports families and students. 

It is critical that students come to school prepared to learn, making early learning a fundamental component of our education continuum.  We know that when children come to school with a few important skills (letters, sounds, counting, skills like listening and following directions) they are much more successful as they enter school. This advantage stays with students for years to come, and they are more successful at all future levels of school. 



The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) provides leadership for Oregon’s K-12 schools including curriculum, instruction, school improvement efforts, and the statewide assessment system.  The Department’s priorities include solid and sustainable school funding, ensuring students are ready for school through strong early-childhood programs, closing systemic gaps between students, supporting school and district leadership, and improving the efficiency of the agency.

In partnership with other education agencies, the department will play a significant role in helping to ensure that the state meets identified priority targets proven to keep students on track to high school graduation, college and career.  Specifically, ODE helps ensure students: come ready to learn in Kindergarten; are reading at grade level in third grade; are on track with attendance and credits in ninth grade; and successfully graduate high school.



​The Youth Development Division (YDD) was developed with an understanding that, despite existing initiatives to align systems and policies in support of students, there are youth who encounter various forms of adversity throughout their lives. This adversity is at times so significant it creates real and detrimental barriers to education and workforce success. To help youth get back on the path to high school graduation, college and/or career, the legislature created the Youth Development Division.

The Youth Development Division is tasked with supporting the education system by developing state policy and administering funding to support community and school-based youth development programs, services, and initiatives for youth ages 6-24.

For more information about programs and initiatives of the Youth Development Division contact:  Brenda Brooks | 503.378.5129 |


The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is a 14-member, volunteer board and agency dedicated to fostering and sustaining the best, most rewarding pathways to opportunity and success for all Oregonians through an accessible, affordable and coordinated network for educational achievement beyond a high school diploma.

Oregon’s higher education system serves hundreds of thousands of students at its 7 public universities, 17 public community colleges, private and independent colleges and universities, and private career and trade schools.


Research and Reports

2018 Accelerated College Credit Transferability Report

Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Research

2018 Poverty Report

Poverty, Research

2018 Educator Equity Report

Chief Education Office, College/University to Workforce, Equity, Research

News Release: Applications Now Open for Grants and Scholarships at

High School to College/University, Higher Education Coordinating Commission, In The Media, Research

2017 Educator Equity Report

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research

2017 Educator Equity Report Executive Summary

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research

Reach Higher for Oregon Students: Highlights from Senate Bill 418 Funding

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research


Equity, Research

2017 Practices to Improve the Achievement of Students in Poverty

Chief Education Office, Equity, Poverty, Research, Seamless System

2017 Graduation Report

Chief Education Office, Research, Seamless System

2016 Oregon STEM Education Plan

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research

Report from the Governor’s Council on Educator Advancement

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research

2016 Educator Equity Report

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research

2016 Chronic Absenteeism Report

Chief Education Office, Equity, Research, Seamless System

Poverty and Education – HB 2968 (2015) Legislative Report

Poverty, Research

Oregon Poverty Facts and Analysis of Barriers (2015)

Poverty, Research