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.
Number Of 'Significantly Disengaged' Kids At Sacramento Public Schools Has Skyrocketed During The PandemicFebruary 15, 2021
Before the pandemic closed schools, only a few dozen kids at Sacramento City Unified schools missed three days a week of school or more. Now, that number is almost a thousand.
Schools would only qualify in counties with lower infection rates. Kindergarten through sixth grade is prioritized in the governor’s $2-billion plan, which would need the Legislature’s approval.
The Folsom Cordova Unified School Board voted for its students to return to classrooms part time. It comes in anticipation of schools in the county getting the greenlight to reopen after moving into the red tier of California’s reopening guidelines.
Without clear guidance from the state, coronavirus testing remains a contentious and costly issue as more school districts inch toward reopening.
A closely watched report commissioned by Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for more local discretion and tighter regulation of charter schools.
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