truancy in the news

Legislature OKs scaled-back truancy law - Omaha.com:
"LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers passed two bills Monday containing three key educational changes. 
The first eases up on the state's controversial truancy law by putting more decisions back in the hands of local schools. 
The second directs state education officials to look at more than test scores when measuring school performance. It also authorizes the creation of "career academies" to prepare students for jobs that don't require a college degree."
'Legislative Bill 933, the truancy measure, is expected to result in fewer Nebraska students being reported to legal authorities for missing school. But backers say it would not jeopardize efforts to identify students risk of falling behind and dropping out of school because of absences. 
Under the bill, schools no longer would have to send reports to county attorneys about students who miss more than 20 days of school because of illness or other excused absences. 
Reports would continue to be required for students who miss more than 20 days of school and have at least one unexcused absence. But schools would have to recommend whether the county attorney should pursue action against those students. 
Current law, which was passed two years ago, requires students to be reported to the county attorney's office after missing more than 20 days for any reason. The law leaves it to county attorneys to decide how to handle the reports.
Tennessee law guarantees the right to legal representation to all defendants accused of crimes — unless they're kids accused of skipping school.

A new bill seeks to change that. State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, and state Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville, are sponsoring legislation that would grant children involved in truancy cases the right to counsel. 
"The legal system is complex and doesn't always help the kid get to the right place," Berke said. "They're facing fines and other consequences. By having an attorney, we're going to encourage kids to cooperate and get back in school so they don't have to suffer those consequences."  
Juvenile defendants in Tennessee have no right under current law to counsel during truancy proceedings. That's because truancy — defined as at least five chronic, unexcused absences from school — doesn't technically qualify as a crime, even though it's illegal.
Education bill set to raise tension in Parliament
"In an attempt to further explain the rationale behind the education reform bill, the minister announced that it was a necessity to arrange the twelve-year compulsory education system in a discontinuous way, because “we need to offer flexibility and make the education system more democratic in line with developments at the national level.”

The education reform bill aims to change the duration of compulsory education from a consecutive and uninterrupted eight years to a version formulized as the “4+4+4 system,” where children will be able to enroll in other types of educational institutions -- namely vocational high schools -- after the first four years. The bill has been criticized by the main opposition party as being not based on facts of pedagogy, but ideology, in the way it allows religious education at a younger age."
allAfrica.com: Tanzania: Truancy Rampant in Mwanga:
"He said pupils who miss classes are from pastoral communities, adding that truancy was rampant during dry seasons when Maasai children are forced by their parents to look for pasture and water for the livestock. "Masais lead nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of pasture and water. They move along with the entire family, affecting children in school," Mr Nderu said. 
Despite that setback, average class attendance in 109 primary schools in the district was currently at 98 per cent which, he said, was one of the factors that raised academic performance during last year's National Standard Seven Examination. Other factors that enabled primary schools to achieve impressive results are remedial classes conducted willingly by teachers themselves and having in place qualified teachers, he said." 
KC truancy measure stalls amid opposition from parents and children - KansasCity.com
"But committee member Michael Brooks said he wanted to see more intervention programs from the Kansas City public schools, such as alternative schools and social workers, before the city adopts a potentially punitive approach. 
Numerous home school families also worried that police could stop their children just for going to a library or museum unattended. 
Wagner said the measure specifically guards against abuse of home schoolers. He said he plans to schedule more meetings between school officials and council members to convince his colleagues that his measure has merit."
Truancy center opening set | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said at Tuesday’s news conference that he hopes the center will be open in August for the beginning of the school year and that it will provide “in one location all the resources needed to address the many underlying problems faced by our school youth and their families.”"
Meditation Helps Lower Truancy and Suspensions
Surrounded by poverty and escalating violence, a San Francisco middle school committed to peace and embraced a program of meditation that has made students feel safer, teachers more productive, and brought unity and purpose to the school. 



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