Lawmakers seek to crack down on elementary school truancy

Lawmakers seek to crack down on elementary school truancy

School bus SACRAMENTO — Warning that truancy has reached a crisis level in California elementary schools, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and half a dozen lawmakers proposed a raft of bills Monday aimed at keeping kids in school.

Harris said 30% of elementary school students were truant in the 2012-13 school year.

“California’s Constitution guarantees our children the right to an education, yet our elementary schools face a truancy crisis,” Harris said. “When children in kindergarten through sixth grade miss school, they fall behind and too many never catch up.”

A child is considered truant after missing school or being tardy by more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three occasions during a school year.

One million elementary school students are truant each year, and 250,000 miss 18 or more school days, costing school districts $1.4 billion, Harris said.

Missing classes in elementary school sets the stage for problems…

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