SALT LAKE CITY — Schools have begun cracking down on sluffing.
The Wall Street Journal reported the number of students cutting class has grown in recent years.
Data from the U.S. Education Department show that 16 percent of students, about 8 million children, missed at least 15 days of class in the 2015-16 school year.
In the previous year (2013-2014), that number was about 7 million, which means cutting class climbed 12 percent in one year, according to the Department of Education.
Those data points are the latest data available from the Department of Education.
Student population rose 1.1 percent during that time, according to The Wall Street Journal.
But schools have sought answers on how to cut down on cutting class. Schools in Washington state and Arkansas will have interviews with students about why they aren’t going to class. Alabama schools will withdraw students and charge parents for re-enrollment.
Meanwhile, in Texas and Florida, schools are raffling off prizes like cars and gift cards to students who never miss a day.
Utah has worked on its own programs to keep kids in school. As the Deseret News reported, Hillcrest High School launched a summer bridge program that offers instruction to students over the summer and pays money to those who regularly attend.
The program, done in partnership with United Way of Salt Lake, has earned national attention.
Hillcrest hopes the program will help young students start high school on the right foot.
“If you can create a successful ninth-grader, that’s the biggest predictor whether someone is going to graduate and be successful. So we have to catch those kids in that eighth- to ninth-grade transition,” said Hillcrest High School Principal Greg Leavitt.