Holden’s Truancy Legislation Clears Assembly (AB 1672)
Sacramento – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill to help school districts and counties collect and evaluate information on California’s truancy crisis has been approved in the Assembly.
Holden’s AB 1672 is part of a package of truancy bills sponsored by the Attorney General’s office to address the reasons behind chronic absences in elementary school.
“With this slate of bills we are not putting more students in the juvenile justice system, but inviting the community to intervene before they end up in the penal system, which is why I am happy to join this effort,” explained Assemblymember Holden. “I am authoring Assembly Bill 1672 to increase accountability for School Attendance Review Boards, or SARBs, in order to make them more effective. “
AB 1672 requires local SARBs to report information on student enrollment, absence and truancy rates, referrals to the district attorney and whether or not the student is doing better. Current SARB reports provide minimal information about intervention outcomes, so it is difficult to get the full picture. This bill ensures schools, districts, and counties can evaluate the success of their truancy intervention efforts.
According to the Attorney General’s office, an estimated one million elementary school students are truant each year and 250,000 elementary school students miss 18 or more school days at a cost of $1.4 billion in lost funds to California school districts.