AirTalk for September 30, 2013

California elementary school truancy at “crisis” point


What should schools do to prevent students from skipping class?

A report released today by California Attorney Kamala D. Harris finds that nearly 1 million California elementary school students are truant each year – that’s one out of every four pupils. School districts receive education dollars based on student attendance. Between 2010-2011, Los Angeles County lost $340 million, the report said, because of kids skipping school.

"The California Constitution guarantees every child the right to an education, yet we are failing our youngest children, as early as kindergarten," Harris said in a statement. "This crisis is not only crippling for our economy, it is a basic threat to public safety."

Los Angeles Unified's truancy rates went up during the recession to 43% last year from 28% in 2009-10. This is the first annual report on the CA Attorney General has released on truancy.


Lydia Bodin , deputy in charge, LA County’s Abolish Chronic Truancy program

Ashley Franklin, Lead Organizer with the Community Rights Campaign 

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