Truancy

Love Krittaya, Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia’s 55 schools districts can now apply for state funding to help combat excessive absences in public schools.

 

The West Virginia Department of Education is accepting applications from county boards of education for funding to hire a local truancy diversion specialist.

Those county level specialists will work directly with students who have the highest number of absences, providing them individual attention to get them back in the classroom.

At the legislature today, there’s a deadline looming.  By Wednesday at midnight, all the senate bills must be reported to the house and all the house bills reported to the senate.  It makes for long lists of legislation to be considered on both floors.  The house today passed a bill that keeps the Future Fund, an account created by Democrats last year, unfunded.   And we’ll talk about the state budget with the Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy coming up on The Legislature Today.

West Virginia Legislature

Senate Bill 256 was introduced to the full chamber Tuesday. Sponsored by Sen. Chris Walters of Putnam County, the bill aims at increasing the number of unexcused absences a student can have before the state court system intervenes.

“Currently, West Virginia has one of the most aggressive numbers and that’s five statewide," Walters said.  "Once a child reaches five unexcused absences then he arrives into the court system and can be placed in a facility.”

Cecelia Mason

  State figures show that nearly a third of West Virginia's public school students were truant during the 2013-2014 academic year.

According to Department of Education data, 58 percent of McDowell County's students were marked as truant. That was the highest rate in the state.

Jefferson County had the lowest rate, 7 percent.

  The West Virginia Supreme Court says a Kanawha County woman convicted in a truancy case can't be both fined and ordered to perform community service. The court says a Kanawha County judge also erred when he placed Beth Bennett on 90 days' probation. In an opinion issued Tuesday, the court says there are two sentencing alternatives for first-offense truancy. They are a fine, or requiring the adult to accompany the child to school.

The Law Works - Truancy

Feb 27, 2014

Forty years ago, the United States had the highest public school graduation rate in the world.  Today we're number twenty-one.  In West Virginia we have a public school truancy rate of up to fifty percent in some counties.  Dan Ringer and his guests Judge Alan Moats, Barbour & Taylor Counties and Glenn Sweet, Director, Barbour County Office of Attendance will talk about Truancy.

W.Va. House of Delegates Opens 2014 Session

Jan 8, 2014
Aaron Payne

The 81st House of Delegates began its 60-day session Wednesday at the Capitol.

After most of the general housekeeping was taken care of, the delegates introduced 15 bills, both new and interim, to be sent to the various committees.

A few highlights of the bills introduced are:

HB 4003. Granting dual jurisdiction to counties where a student who lives in one county and attends school in another in order to enforce truancy policies.

HB 4009. Permitting institutions of higher education to perform background checks.