Millions of kids are missing weeks of school as attendance tanks across the US

By Bianca Vazquez Toness THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP)-When in-person school resumed after pandemic closures, Rousmery Negron and her 11-year-old son both noticed a change: School seemed less welcoming. Parents were no longer allowed in the building without appointments, she said, and punishments were more severe. Everyone seemed less tolerant, more angry. Negron’s son told her he overheard a teacher mocking his learning disabilities, calling him an ugly name. Her son didn’t want to go to school anymore. And she didn’t feel he was safe there. He would end up missing more than five months of sixth grade. Across the country, students have been absent at record rates since schools reopened during the pandemic. More than a quarter of students missed at least 10% of the 2021-22 school year,…

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