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The Latest Insights into Employee Absence Data

Employee Absences

The 3rd annual report from the Frontline Research & Learning Institute is now available, featuring insights around employee absences, substitute placement and hiring data in K-12 over the past three years. In addition, it’s the Institute’s first annual report to delve into data around employee absences by district locale and size.

Let’s explore three of the key statistics on employee absences and substitute management activity uncovered in this report.

Fewer Employee Absences Requiring a Substitute

The average number of absences taken by employees requiring a substitute has declined to just under eleven days per year — a six percent decrease from the 2015-16 school year. In contrast, the average number of absences taken by employees that do not require a substitute rose by six percent over the same timeframe.


Lower Fill Rates

With teachers out of the classroom less frequently, and therefore requiring substitutes less often, one might expect to see fill rates rise. However, fill rates have in fact decreased slightly over the past three years — perhaps due to higher percentages of non-working substitutes.

Lower Fill Rates

Lost Instructional Time

Lower fill rates across the country opens the potential for lost instructional time. Assuming an average of sixty students per teacher, considering the difference between elementary and secondary teachers, this data suggests a nationwide loss of approximately 850 million instructional days due to unfilled classrooms during the 2017-18 school year alone.

What do these findings mean for you? Check out this blog post on FrontlineEducation.com for actionable tips and strategies.

Raegen Miller

Raegen Miller is the Research Director for FutureEd. Immediately prior to joining the center, Raegen served as vice president for research partnerships at Teach for America. Raegen also worked at the Center for American Progress on issues of human capital and fiscal equity in elementary and secondary education. Earlier, Raegen was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. He holds a doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he taught courses on applied data analysis and the foundations of schooling and teaching. Raegen’s work in education research and policy is grounded in many years of teaching high school mathematics. Raegen completed his teacher training at Stanford University, and holds an M.S. in mathematics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.