Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that Rhode Island has the highest rate of chronic school absenteeism in New England.
The data from the 2013-2014 school year was analyzed by the nonprofit Attendance Works. It shows that 19 percent of the state's students were chronically absent or not present in class for at least 15 days.
More than one-third of students were chronically absent in Providence, Central Falls and Woonsocket districts. In the state's second largest district, Cranston, 18 percent of students missed at least 15 days of school a year.
State Education Commissioner Ken Wagner tells The Providence Journal the state will include student engagement, including absenteeism rates, as part of Rhode Island's new school evaluation system.