Document Type


Publication Date


Series Title

Arkansas Education Report

Series Number

Volume 20 Issue 4


9th grade year, fidelity, policy implementation, unexcused absences, local policies


This policy analysis examines the implementation of A.C.A. 6-18-222, a statewide policy in Arkansas that addresses unexcused absences and course credit consequences for students. Using anonymized student-level data from the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years (N=65,651), the study explores variations in policy implementation across districts and investigates the relationship between absences and course failures for freshmen. Our results highlight the wide variability in the number of allowed unexcused absences and the language of course credit consequence among districts. Additionally, our multivariate logistic regressions reveal FRL-eligible students more likely to fail a course after reaching their district’s unexcused absence threshold. Lastly, we find once students reach their district’s unexcused absence threshold, they more likely to fail a core course compared to a non-core course. Our findings provide insights into the variations of local policy implementation for student academic outcomes.