Indeed, we can see in these links how schools in the past few decades have reacted to a changing user base (changes driven by declining wages) by creating an in-house police force instead of developing deeper ways to work with students and families. This is not how a public social service supported by families and for families should be structured. An education system that doesn't relate to the people who use the service cannot be effective on any level.
Parents say Loudoun officials reaching too far to stop school tardies - The Washington Post:
This was her second go-round in the courts for tardiness, she said, and now she faces a Class 1 misdemeanor that can carry a maximum of 12 months in jail.
Across the country, some states and local jurisdictions have begun to move away from a punitive approach to enforcing attendance rules. Police in Los Angeles had been issuing $250 truancy tickets to tardy students until recent months, when the policy was scaled back in response to an uprising by parents and activists.
“Punitive discipline leads to a higher dropout rate, more hostility in schools, it leads to kids disengaging from learning and it alienates parents,” said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of Advancement Project, a civil rights organization that has advocated against harsh school discipline. “It is counter to everything that we know should be done.”
Other states have doubled down. An unusually strong Nebraska law passed in 2010 requires schools to refer students to the county attorney general after 20 absences, whether they’re excused or unexcused. The state commissioner of education, Roger Breed, has hailed the measure for shrinking the number of children who are chronically absent.
In Loudoun, some parents said the school system might accomplish more — with fewer dollars — by adopting a softer approach.
Ed Croft, Parent Teacher Organization treasurer at Waterford, received a certified letter in November from a county truancy officer warning of possible legal consequences. His first-grade son had been tardy 11 times, he said — usually by only a few minutes.
He said he and his wife have been more careful since then, but they’re still not perfect. They overslept last week and their son was late to school — and Croft worries that at some point, another tardy will trigger a court referral.
“If they’re going after the Denicores, they could easily go after me,” Croft said. “They’re just casting a wide net.”
Honors student jailed for truancy invited to Stanford leadership conference | khou.com Houston: "HOUSTON – Diane Tran, the Willis High School honors student who was thrown in jail last spring for missing too much school, is now attending a leadership conference at Stanford University."
Judge in Diane Tran case: I will continue to be tough on truancy | khou.com Houston: "Despite the reversal of the contempt charge in the Tran case, Moriarty said he plans to continue to be tough on truancy.
"I will continue to hold students, and sometimes parents, accountable for unexcused absences as we work to reduce truancy, lower the dropout rate, and instill in tomorrow’s leaders the belief that rules and laws must be followed by all for society to properly function," Moriarty wrote."
The officials routinely erased more recorded student absences than they reported to the state — in some years, substantially more — according to district data tables The Dispatch obtained by filing a public-records request."
Dropout and Truancy Prevention Network (DTPN):
Who pays for the RBT?
Most school districts pay for the program from operating funds. This is because the recaptured Weighted Average Daily Attendance revenue usually more than pays for the program.
- Other sources of funds are:
- Court budgets (including especially fine revenue)
- State and Federal grants for dropout prevention, student performance and truancy prevention.
- User (family) pay — from fine revenue
- Private sponsorship (e.g. corporate or Chamber of Commerce)