SEATTLE — A new report shows nearly 17 percent of students in Washington are chronically absent from school, meaning that each misses at least 18 days of instruction.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/2xLMqpW ) a new national report, “Portraits of Change,” analyzing attendance rates, notes in 28 percent of Washington schools almost a third of all students are missing weeks of classwork.

That rate ranks second worst in the nation, trailing only Alaska.

Attendance Works released the findings last week after analyzing federal data from the 2013-14 school year, the most recent full set available.

Though the numbers are 4 years old, education officials in Olympia do not dispute the gist: chronic absenteeism is a major problem in Washington.

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