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Valley Public Radio Staff
Tue March 18, 2014
Drought May Hurt School Attendance in Central Valley
Declining school attendance may be the latest side-effect of California’s punishing drought. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction will visit the Central Valley Wednesday to talk about the problem.
School attendance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the impact of the drought on California. But it is affected. Less water means fewer crops, which means fewer farm jobs. And when the jobs disappear, families of migrant workers move on, taking their school age children with them.
Nathan Quevedo is with the Merced County Office of Education. He says falling attendance is a concern, especially for smaller districts in the Central Valley.
Quevedo: “For every state that goes to school, the school, in a sense, makes money off those students. So, if there’s less students at the school, the school and the school district ultimately are going to lose money.”
Superintendent Tom Torlakson will visit schools and take part in drought-related discussions in several Central Valley cities, including Bakersfield and Fresno.