Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 25, 2024
Rep. Ruben Gallego Addresses Secretary of Education on Arizona's 28% Chronic Absenteeism, Urges Federal ActionSource: United States House of Representatives - Office of Ruben Gallego, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In a move that addresses a gripping problem in our schools, Rep. Ruben Gallego has taken a stand against chronic absenteeism. Recognizing the crisis levels reached in his home state of Arizona, where recent figures peg chronic absenteeism at a startling 28 percent, Gallego has reached out directly to the Secretary of Education.

In the pressing letter made public, he probes Secretary Miguel Cardona for a path forward on combating the concerning trend nationwide, with an eye on the dire consequences that lay in wait for students' futures. Referencing statistics that chronically absent students are on a slippery slope toward dropping out and a cascade of associated social ills, Gallego's urgency is palpable. "The alarmingly high rates of chronic absenteeism around the country necessitate urgent action from the federal government," he states, as captured in the press release.

Zeroing in on the federal response, Gallego's inquiry to Cardona focuses on several pressing questions. He calls for details on existing resources for tackling this issue and suggestions for Congress on where to channel support. His letter demands a closer look at the coordination between the Department of Education and local governments in monitoring and managing the crisis.

The list of questions rouses a demand for action: What can Congress do to ease an a straining budget for state and local education authorities? What federal assistance is available, and what interventions should be top priority? These questions, laid out by Rep. Gallego, underscore the critical need for a collaborative approach to keep students in school and on track.

As schools grapple with the aftershocks of the pandemic, which only exacerbated an already worrying situation, the response of the Department of Education to Gallego's call will be a deciding factor in drawing students back into the classroom. With the congressman’s letter, a foundation for discussion and potential policy change has been set. Now, eyes turn to Secretary Cardona for answers that could shape the educational landscape for years to come.