How NOT to Fight the Truancy Problem

The Code of Virginia requires schools to prepare an attendance plan after a student has five unexcused absences, to hold a conference with the parents after six, and to conduct either a prosecution or a CHINS (Children in Need of Services) petition after seven. So, how well are Richmond City Public Schools enforcing the law?

It’s hard to say. John Butcher has received incomplete data from Richmond schools in response to his FOIA request. But the partial data don’t look good.

On the positive side, school officials have ramped up their writing of six-absence attendance plans — more than doubling the number between 2012 and 2015. On the downside, the number of 10-absence truancies has surged — from less than 2,600 in 2012 to a bit more than 4,000 in 2016. Despite the run-up in truancies, the number of prosecutions and CHIN petitions actually decreased between 2014 and 2016.

Read the full post on Cranky’s Blog here.

Bacon’s bottom line: If school boards aren’t asking these questions, citizens should be.

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