truancy in the news, part one

Truancy in the news is a regular feature on this blog and this is part one of two posts.  Truancy is a function of compulsory attendance and attendance is the cornerstone of funding. Schools get money for the students that attend in various formulas.  Schools have never learned to work with families and kids in a meaningful way because they have relied on their legal arm and have not built the habit of working closely with the users of this system.  In a time of budget cuts, schools are cracking down on truancy.

South Portland set to expand preschool programming | The Forecaster: ""Truancy rates in South Portland are highest in kindergarten, and students who miss that much school are at risk of failure or dropping out," she said."We're trying to instill that love of learning early on, and the foundation that learning is important."

The district has had good luck with preschool. The first 12 students who attended pre-K classes at Brick Hill all navigated kindergarten this year with no need for any additional support, Godin said.


The next 12 students, who will start kindergarten next year, also seem prepared, she said.


Kindergarten students entering school unprepared for the standard curriculum is a growing problem in South Portland, probably because of declining levels of adult literacy."


Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com
Danelle Swanson is arrested 
by DeKalb County Sheriff's deputies 
N. Mendez (left) and D. Dickerson 
at her apartment in DeKalb County during 
a roundup of parents of truant children.
Truancy a lingering problem, with jail a last resort  | ajc.com:   
"That's what happened Thursday to two DeKalb County mothers.

Cheryl McCoy and Danelle Swanson [left] were led away in cuffs, each charged with educational neglect, after DeKalb Sheriff's deputies pounded on their doors."

...

"Swanson, 26, [left] didn't show for court after her child missed 16 days of kindergarten. McCoy, 43, skipped court after her teenager missed 37 days of middle school."

Truancy fine battle against Lebanon School District becomes a class-action lawsuit | PennLive.com"For example, Hummel, a single mother, said she was hit with more than $10,000 in fines. She has claimed that her two children were afraid to go to school because they were attacked and taunted and that district officials offered no help in dealing with the problems.
Other plaintiffs in the case have said they were fined and even jailed when their children missed school or got to class late due to health, behavioral or work scheduling problems.

In ruling in favor of the parents and the NAACP on the class action issue, Kane found that the school district’s arguments against certifying the class were groundless and “quixotic.”

She noted that the district has issued more than 1,200 truancy citations per school year since 2004-05 and that in 2008-09 more than 700 parents and students were slapped with 1,489 citations. From 2004 to 2009, 935 fines were levied that exceeded the $300 state cap, Kane observed, and at least 178 of those fines surpassed $1,000."

In Texas Schools, Parents Cited for Students' Misbehavior | PBS NewsHour: "Jordan, 17, and a ninth grader at Madison High School, has documented disability issues and learning difficulties. Jordan's Father, Norris, is disabled and on a fixed income. Mr. Baylor said he knew nothing about his son's absences until they had both received tickets. But he couldn't afford to pay the fines. At one point, father and son were both looking at potential jail time, all stemming from the Jordan's truancy."    via Blog this'




Wilton Tacks On Points To Track Student Absences | The Wilton Daily Voice"WILTON, Conn. – Family vacations were once considered excused absences in Wilton Public Schools, but they will no longer have that distinction under the Connecticut State Board of Education’s new and more rigid definitions for excused and unexcused absences."

Nearly 600 parents cited for truancy this year as their kids skip | www.krmg.com"She tells KRMG that of about 6,000 misdemeanors filed in the last year. 580 cases involved truancy.  Last Friday, the D.A.'s office filed 38 cases of truancy."
...   "All children between the ages of five and 18 must attend class.

The reports of truancy are filed by the school when a student has 10 or more unexcused absences.

Parents with kids who are simply out of control can go to the Juvenile Bureau and file a "child in need of supervision" petition, which can help mitigate the parents' criminal liability."


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