California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently announced a package of legislation that aims to address chronic absence and truancy. The package includes the following bills:
- Senate Bill 1107 - The bill would "require the Attorney General to submit a report to the Governor, the Legislature, and to the State Board of Education, on elementary school truancy and chronic absenteeism in California."
- Assembly Bill 1866 - This bill would require the CDE to enhance the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System and would require that rates of chronic absenteeism and truancy be included.
- Assembly Bill 1672 - This bill would require School Attendance Review Boards to report annually to the "county superintendent of schools the number and types of referrals to school attendance review boards and of requests for petitions to the juvenile court." Information on chronic absenteeism and the number of students referred to a SARB who improved their attendance would need to be included.
- Assembly Bill 1643 - This bill would require that every county have a school attendance review board (SARB).
- Assembly Bill 2141 - "This bill would require a state or local authority conducting a truancy-related mediation or prosecuting a pupil or a pupil's parent or legal guardian...to provide the pupil's school district, school attendance review board, county superintendent of schools, probation department, or any other agency that referred the truancy-related mediation, criminal complaint, or petition with the outcome of each referral."
Through the Big Lift and the Attendance Matters workgroup, the San Mateo County Office of Education is working to reduce the incidence of chronic absenteeism by 50% in San Mateo County.