Attorney general promotes bills to reduce truancy

by Don Thompson, Associated Press
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California State Attorney General Kamala Harris

California State Attorney General Kamala Harris (AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – School districts and the state would be required to do a better job of tracking students who miss class under proposed legislation designed to lower California’s dropout rate.

The package of bills announced Monday would write into law recommendations from a report released by Attorney General Kamala Harris in September.

The report says 30 percent of elementary students missed school during the 2012-13 school year, costing their districts a combined $1.4 billion in attendance-based funding.

The law defines truancy as being absent or arriving more than 30 minutes late without a valid excuse three times in a school year.

The legislation Harris is seeking would require schools to increase their reporting of truant students, which she said would help officials find ways to get them back in school.

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