When it comes to mental health sick days, where do New York parents stand for allowing their kids to stay home?

Nationally, around 26 percent of public school students were classified as "chronically absent" during the last school year. According to Test Prep Insight, this was a rise from 15 percent before the pandemic.

Why Are Kids Staying Home More?

Multiple factors contribute to this issue:

1) Some families take advantage of off-peak travel discounts, vacationing during the school year.

2) Some parents in different income brackets, may be too preoccupied with work to monitor their children’s attendance.

3) Mental health has emerged as a critical factor in student absenteeism.

Test Prep Insight conducted a survey with 3,000 parents:

"The survey aimed to gauge parental support for absenteeism when it directly benefits a child’s mental health. Traditionally, school authorities have discouraged prolonged absences, but shifting perceptions toward mental health in recent years might indicate a change in attitude."

79% of parents in New York believe children should be allowed to take days off school for mental health reasons (compared to a national average of 73%). Support for this idea is highest in Minnesota, where 86% of parents agree with the rule change, while Vermont shows the least support, with only 40% of parents in favor.


When asked which factors should justify a mental health day for a student, over half (52%) of parents cited symptoms of a mental health disorder such as anxiety or stress. Another 24% mentioned family issues or personal problems, 15% thought grieving the loss of a loved one was justifiable, and 8% believed feeling overwhelmed by schoolwork warranted a day off.

Thirty-nine percent of parents want to see better training for teachers on mental health awareness, 23% wanted mental health education integrated into the curriculum, 21% sought more proactive communication between schools and parents, and 17% desired more on-site mental health professionals.

Where do you stand on this? Do you agree or disagree with the survey? Let us know when you text our station app.

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