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Bills Seek to Curb Chronic Absenteeism

Liz, flickr
 

Liz, flickr

A lot of kids miss a day of school here and there. But some are chronically absent or late. Now some California lawmakers want to crack down on the problem.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris says 250,000 elementary students missed 18 or more school days last year. She says California is one of just four states that do not track daily attendance. She’s sponsoring a measure that would require the state Department of Education to start.

“The savings that will result from investing in this issue, which is tracking it on a daily basis, will be immense," she says. "I tell you that, again, $1.4 billion the school districts are leaving on the table every year in unreimbursed expenses.”

Students who miss a lot of class are more likely to drop out. And Harris says high school drop outs cost California more than $40 billion a year.

Harris is sponsoring several other bills to reduce truancy and absenteeism. The legislative package is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 

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