Chronic absenteeism and truancy are serious issues that prevent far too many young New Yorkers from succeeding in school and reaching their full potential. On June 10, 2010, Mayor Bloomberg launched the first-ever interagency, citywide campaign to combat this far-reaching problem and announced the creation of the Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism & School Engagement.
The Task Force was created to develop comprehensive, interagency approaches that call on all members of the community to work together to make sure that students are staying in school. The "Every Student, Every Day" campaign launched a set of pilot initiatives at a total of 50 elementary, middle, and high schools across all five boroughs. These schools were selected by the Department of Education (DOE) and the Task Force based on above-average chronic absenteeism rates and strong school leadership.
The causes of truancy and chronic absenteeism are varied and complex, ranging from homelessness, health issues, abuse and neglect, to caretaking responsibilities, bullying, and transportation challenges. The Task Force is therefore focusing on a multi-sector, multi-agency response in developing a comprehensive set of strategies and pilot initiatives to address the range of issues affecting these students. The Task Force draws on the experience and insights of numerous City agencies, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders and experts from around the City and across the country, including: educators, social service providers, academics, medical and mental health professionals, faith leaders, law enforcement officials, youth development professionals, and representatives from the Department of Education and school districts across the nation.