Skipping school can mean a lot more for students than just failing a test. California Attorney General Kamala Harris says it can cause kids to fall behind and ultimately drop out of high school.
Harris joined state lawmakers in introducing a package of legislation designed to curb truancy among elementary school students. She says showing up in class is critical to a student’s future success.
“If a child, at the end of third grade, is not at reading level, they are four times more likely than other students to be a high school dropout," Harris says.
Harris’ office estimates one million elementary students are truant each year, with a quarter of those missing at least 18 days of school. Truant students cost school districts more than $1 billion a year in lost state funds.
Among other things, the bills would help districts comply with truancy tracking requirements and work with parents to address causes of truancy.
A few school police departments in California have acquired military armored vehicles, rifles and grenade launchers. That's spawned a new bill in the state Legislature. The bill faces its first committee vote Wednesday.
California schools can start administering the state’s new standardized tests to students. The new math and English language tests use computers and open-ended critical thinking questions – rather than the old “Scantron” bubble multiple-choice tests.
Thousands of juvenile salmon are now swimming down the Sacramento River. They're twice as big as other salmon hatched at the same time after spending the last month hanging out in a Yolo County rice field.
A shortage of teachers in Washoe County has forced the school district to fill vacant positions with more substitute teachers. That is reducing the pool of available substitutes for short-term assignments.
University of California students are getting at least a temporary reprieve from tuition increases scheduled to take effect in the coming academic year.