voluntary preschool truants

Truancy hotline road sign. (Savannah, USA)
Truancy hotline road sign.
(Savannah, USA)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When the only tool you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail:
Preschool truancy measure heads to Iowa governor: ""We don't quite know how truancy would work in a program that's voluntary," he said. "Compulsory attendance age means the kid has to be in school if they're enrolled ... This limits the ability of the (school) board to remove them.""
Compulsory attendance laws have made school administration and school boards unable to envision any other away to approach their task. The police power is so fundamental and so many of us have been through long years in schools that it is on autopilot now.

In the link above, I note a concern about underutilization, a mistaken denigration of daycare, and the complete lack of any idea of service to families, connection and support of communities, or even staffing for communication. And while the state may bully a few into line, the greater impact is to lessen communication and limit input overall and that loses far more than you gain by getting a few to toe the line. 

There is no one available to have real conversations with the parents, that function is not in the budget, instead this truancy bill will open the conversation. In reality, this approach will prevent conversation.

(Better yet, try a sharing system, like Germany does with jobs, so that no one has to wait at all. Minnesota just voted in full-day kindergarten.)

More preschool and kindergarten truancy:
Truancy policies can catch parents by surprise / LJWorld.com: "Meisenheimer, who suffers from migraine headaches, said she had been late getting her daughter to school a few times because she felt unable to drive. She also said her daughter had been sent home by the school nurse once because it was suspected she had tonsillitis, although a doctor later confirmed she did not.

Nevertheless, after her daughter's seventh unexcused absence from kindergarten this year, Meisenheimer was reported to state child welfare officials, placed in a diversion program, and next month she will have to appear at a hearing to determine whether she has satisfied the terms of her diversion.

"I'm flabbergasted at what I'm hearing," Meisenheimer said. "The diversion program means two hours once a week for nine weeks, or until a hearing is set with the assistant district attorney. I have someone come to my home every week to talk to my daughter."
Texas Lawmakers Take On Truancy Laws - NYTimes.com: "Eliminating the crime of truancy as a Class C misdemeanor was the original intent of Senate Bill 1234, which would require that cases be handled only by school districts and juvenile courts. Senator John Whitmire, Democrat of Houston, the bill’s author, said this month at a committee meeting that he had heard of students who wanted to go to school but could not because of medical or other reasons. 
But the bill has faced opposition from some school district administrators, who say the threat of fines is necessary to keep students from skipping school."
Bob Andres 
Truancy a lingering problem, with jail a last resort | www.ajc.com: "Swanson, 26, failed 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."

Boston asks judges to impose one day in jail for each day of school missed, but only two or three cases actually got that far last year, she said. "The vast majority of our parents just need help and guidance."


Left: 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.
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