Linking Getting to School With Going to School
Linking Getting to School With Going to School

Published online in:
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
April 12, 2017

Michael A. Gottfried, University of California, Santa Barbara


Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have recently aligned efforts to reduce school absenteeism, particularly during kindergarten when excessive absences are highest out of all elementary grades. Little is known, however, about whether the way in which students get to school might influence if they go to school. To address this gap, this study was the first to address the role of school bus-taking on reducing school absences. Using a national large-scale dataset of children (the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011), the findings suggest that children who took the school bus to kindergarten had fewer absent days over the school year and were less likely to be chronically absent compared with children who commuted to school in any other way. Given that many districts are considering cutting or restricting bus services, this study brings to question whether doing so might limit the resources upon which families rely to ensure their children attend school each day. Implications are discussed.

Read the online news release here.