Cellphones are still absent from most U.S. schools but new data shows them steadily gaining acceptance as administrators bow to parents' wishes to keep tabs on their kids and teachers find ways to work them into lessons.

The percentage of K-12 schools that prohibited cellphone use was about 66 percent in 2015-16, down from more than 90 percent in 2009-10. The data from a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics found that the number of high schools with bans dropped from 80 percent to 35 percent.

The nation's largest school system, New York City, is among those that have abandoned strict bans. Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfilled a campaign pledge when he lifted the ban in 2015, saying it would help parents stay in touch with their children.

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