Study finds taking the bus reduces risk of chronic absence

MOSMEVERYDAY -- Taking the bus to school has surprising benefits for the millions of children who ride them each day. Each year in the U.S., students miss at least 20 days of school.

Education researcher Michael Gottfried, of the University of California Santa Barbara, looked at a national sample of more than 14,000 kindergarteners. He found children who took the bus were 3% 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 kindergarteners who are chronically absent by almost 50,000 students, according to additional analysis by the researcher.