The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the performance of students in Illinois.

On Friday, the Illinois Department of Education released its report card on schools.

The report found one in five students were chronically absent last year, meaning they missed at least 10% of the school year — a 21% increase from 2019.

“I do not anticipate our chronic absenteeism continuing to be that high once we’re back to normal,” said Dr. Brenda Dixon, Research and Evaluation Officer for the Illinois State Board of Education. “I truly believe that the increase in the chronic absenteeism really was about access.”

Test scores also fell dramatically in Illinois, with about 17% fewer students meeting grade level in English and math.

Here is how local school districts in Illinois rank when it comes to chronic absenteeism:

  • Rock Island-Milan School District – 49%
  • Moline-Coal Valley School District – 42%
  • East Moline School District – 33%