ANN ARBOR (AP) — A University of Michigan study finds poverty and homelessness play major roles in Michigan kids missing school — contributing to the nearly one in six students deemed “chronically absent.”

The study released Thursday finds roughly 16 percent of enrolled public and charter school students missed at least 10 percent of school days during the 2016-17 school year.

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The analysis finds lower income students absent at three times the rate of their higher income peers. Homeless students had the highest absenteeism rate at 40 percent.

Researchers say children dealing with homelessness and poverty account for about half of the state’s students and represent 75 percent of those chronically absent. High absence rates are found in districts statewide.

The study’s authors recommend early identification and outreach by schools to students and families.

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