Truancy Notification Bill Sent to Gov. Walker

The state Senate and Assembly acted yesterday to approve a bill (Senate Bill 122) that simplifies the process for notifying parents and guardians that their child is habitually truant by allowing first class mail or electronic communications (email, etc.) to be used rather than certified or registered mail.   The bill also permits the school attendance officer to simultaneously notify the parent or guardian by an electronic communication.

The WASB supported this bill and worked for its passage. The current process is expensive and not effective as some parents either make them selves unavailable or refuse to sign for the certified or registered mail notice or do not go to the post office to pick it up.  This not only slows down the process for dealing with habitually truant children, but letters that don’t reach their target are costly to have to send by certified or registered mail.

Current law defines a habitual truant as a pupil who is absent from school without an acceptable excuse for part or all of five or more school days during a school semester.   The bill was approved on a voice vote in both houses.  It now goes to Gov. Walker.