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.
Superintendent Jorge Aguilar called the vaccine requirement “a path forward to keeping our schools open.” The mandate takes effect Nov. 30, seven months before the state requirement begins.
The state superintendent, other officials look at challenges, solutions to creating equity for all students and families.
Roughly 1,600 students at Sacramento City Unified schools have chosen to continue learning at home through the pandemic. But most of the kids remain without teacher assignments, and parents say the district has left many questions unanswered.
California will require that all teachers and school staff be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19, becoming the first state to impose such measures ahead of the new school year.
A Sacramento City school teacher was recorded using racial slurs in the classroom. But one question from organizers still lingers: In a district that has mandatory anti-bias training for teachers, how could this incident happen?
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