Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Ross A. Engel


The consequences of employee absences can have a significant effect on an organization's expected outcomes. The problem of this study is to determine what effect, if any, teacher absences have on school district costs (dollar and time) as well as the effect of teacher absences on student learning;The overall goal was to provide insight into the characteristics that might help schools predict when and how often absences might occur, and to provide recommendations that will help school districts manage or reduce absences;In an attempt to provide answers to these questions, this investigation sought information in the following areas: Characteristics related to teacher absences such as district size, age, gender, socioeconomic status, teacher effectiveness, and building level; district attendance information; principal perceptions of concerns related to absences; and district plans for managing or reducing absences;The 436 public school districts in Iowa were selected to serve as a sample. In addition to the basic questionnaire, additional questions were included to verify the 1368 principals' perceptions of the consequences of teacher absences in their buildings;The data indicate that teacher absences are on the increase. Further analyses of the data imply that characteristics such as larger district size, lower socioeconomic status of students, reduced teacher effectiveness, and teacher gender are linked to higher absence rates;A possible cause of the increased teacher absence rates is the emergence of collective bargaining in school districts, and the corresponding increase in the kinds and number of leave days available to teachers;Improved methods of monitoring teacher absences, along with a plan for recognizing and rewarding good attendance provide the potential for reducing teacher absences. This in turn will cut dollar costs to districts, and more importantly will reduce the loss in student learning created when the regular teacher is gone.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Anthony V. Spencer



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

142 pages