Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: September 29, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez,

Governor Glenn Youngkin Announces ALL IN VA Chronic Absenteeism Task Force

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced the Chronic Absenteeism Task Force, a key pillar of the comprehensive ALL IN VA plan to accelerate the learning loss recovery by addressing  Attendance, Literacy and Learning. The Task Force, in response to a near doubling of chronic absenteeism in Virginia classrooms resulting from extended pandemic closure of schools, will develop resources and distribute action plans for school divisions to address the record-high student absenteeism rates across the Commonwealth.   

“The decision to shutter schools for extended periods during the pandemic continues to have lasting, detrimental effects on our children. To prevent losing an entire generation of children, Virginia is leading the way to accelerate our students’ learning loss recovery through intensive tutoring and combatting chronic absenteeism,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Children must be in school to have any chance of recovering from the persistent learning loss facing students across the Commonwealth. Our new Chronic Absenteeism Task Force was designed to get kids back in the classroom and back on track now.”  

“Over the past three years, the chronic absenteeism rate has doubled,” said Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad Guidera. “Today, nearly one in five students in Virginia are missing more than 10% of the school year. Commonsense tells us that students must be in school. The data proves it—students who are chronically absent are 25% further behind in math and 18% further behind in reading.” 

Virginia’s Department of Education recently completed a two-week listening tour in all eight Superintendent Regions meeting with instructional leads and superintendents to outline the ALL IN VA plan and next steps.  

“Coming to school everyday matters,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons.“As I have met with superintendents across the Commonwealth, they have asked us to work with them to make sure the message is clear: kids need to be in school.” 

The Chronic Absenteeism Task Force will meet every two weeks to discuss the factors contributing to chronic absenteeism such as food scarcity, health and safety and transportation. With the understanding that parents must be responsible, the Task Force will develop actions for school divisions to effectively address school divisions’ biggest barriers to reducing chronic absenteeism. In addition, the Task Force may identify any regulatory hurdles prohibiting best practices from scaling to meet communities’ needs. 

Following each Task Force session, the Department will push out practical solutions to all Superintendents for immediate implementation and awareness. Solutions will be posted to the Department’s ALL IN VA webpage and on social media.  

“I am honored to serve the Commonwealth on this very important Task Force,” said Dr. Keith Perrigan, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent and President of the Coalition of Small and Rural Schools of Virginia. “If students aren’t in school, educators can’t serve them. I look forward to collaboratively developing solutions that support families and students as we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.” 

Virginia’s Standard of Learning scores demonstrate that student achievement remains well below pre-pandemic levels. The Youngkin administration is taking further aggressive action to ensure all Virginia students get the academic support they need to recover learning loss, boost their attendance, and improve academic performance. 


The Chronic Absenteeism Task Force includes the following leaders:  


  • Dr. Keith Perrigan, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent and President of the Coalition of Small and Rural Schools of Virginia 


  • Dr. Michelle Mitchell, Newport News City Public Schools Superintendent 


  • Dr. Doug Straley, Louisa County Public Schools Superintendent 


  • Dr. Clint Mitchell, Colonial Beach Public Schools Superintendent 


  • Dr. Chip Jones, Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent 


  • Scott Vermillion, Gate City High School Principal 


  • Chris Johnson, Prince George County Public Schools Governing Board Member 


  • Faith Mabe, Washington-Lee Elementary School Principal 


  • Tian Olson, Parent 


  • Marco Callender, YMCA of Greater Richmond Executive Director 


  • Dr. Sandy Chung, American Academy of Pediatrics President and Trusted Doctors CEO 


Click here to read Governor Youngkin’s ALL IN VA plan. 


Click here to access the Department’s ALL IN tutoring and resource page. 


Click here to read Virginia’s 2022-2023 Standard of Learning scores. 


Click here to view the ALL IN VA 2023 Annual Standards of Learning Assessment Rates Presentation. 


Watch the ALL IN VA announcement here

# # #