California report says truancy may cost state billions

by The Associated Press
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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A new study released by the California attorney general’s office says the state must act to reduce rampant truancy.

The study released Monday says the last school year saw an estimated 1 million elementary students absent. It says that level of truancy may cost the state billions of dollars through increased crime and poverty.

The report, scheduled for release at an anti-truancy symposium in Los Angeles, said children have unexcused absences from school for a number of reasons, including family issues, neighborhood safety concerns and bullying.

It calls for a sweeping battle against absences that brings together parents, educators, lawmakers, law enforcement and community groups.

The report was based on information from around 550 elementary schools, as well as surveys and interviews with school district and county education officials.

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