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W.Va. Public School Truancy Rate Tops 30 Percent

Cecelia Mason
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  State figures show that nearly a third of West Virginia's public school students were truant during the 2013-2014 academic year.

According to Department of Education data, 58 percent of McDowell County's students were marked as truant. That was the highest rate in the state.

Jefferson County had the lowest rate, 7 percent.

The statewide rate was about 31 percent.

Students are marked as truant if they miss at least five days of class without an excuse.

McDowell County Superintendent Nelson Spencer tells The Sunday Gazette-Mail that truancy cases are a byproduct of poverty and drug abuse.

He says the school system has hired "graduation coaches" to work with at-risk students in high schools.

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