A Project of the Child Trends News Service Supported by the National Science Foundation

Taking the Bus

Taking the bus helps reduce absences

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)—Nothing signals school like the big yellow bus. Busses bring 25 million students to and from school every year. However, with educational budget cuts on the rise, many school districts are considering ways to cut back and one of those ways is restricting bus service for students.

Every year in the United States students miss at least 20 days of school. Education researcher Michael Gottfried, PhD, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, looked at a national sample of over 14,000 kindergarten students. He found children who took the bus were three percent less likely to be chronically absent, or miss ten or more days of school than students who walked, biked or were driven.

While the study didn’t ask why children taking the bus had better attendance, it may be that using the bus helps families establish morning routines and ensures parents’ work schedules don’t interfere with getting to school.

Taking the bus could potentially reduce the number of kindergartners who are chronically absent by almost 50,000 students, according to additional analysis by the researcher.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 


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