Empty Seats: The Impact of Texas House Bill 2398 on Absence Rates Among Low Socioeconomic Status Students in a Rural School District


John Kuhn

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Spring 2018


Chronic absenteeism—the repeated and excessive absence of a student from school, for excused or unexcused reasons affects children, their schools, their futures, and society (Chang & Romero, 2008). In this quantitative study, the researcher compared attendance rates before and after implementation of House Bill 2398 for low socioeconomic status English Language Learner (ELL) and non-ELL students in a rural Texas school district at the elementary and secondary levels of schooling. A three-way mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to study possible relationships. The study revealed statistically significant differences in the absence rates for ELL and non-ELL students and for students before and after passage of HB 2398. A significant interaction effect between variables was found. The study generally confirmed prior research regarding differences in absenteeism among ELL and non-ELL students. Perhaps surprisingly, absence rates generally increased after passage of House Bill 2398, which was intended to improve student attendance by emphasizing proactive rather than reactive approaches to truancy.


Chuck Holt

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership