Contact: Claudia Briggs at 916-296-4087
SACRAMENTO – CTA is asking lawmakers to approve a measure – AB 1866 by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) – that will help reduce student truancy and absenteeism by creating the state’s first system for collecting and reporting student attendance data. The bill is part of a five-measure package of legislation sponsored by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to address state policy on student attendance.
“Attendance in school is one of the most accurate predictors of students at risk of dropping out of high school. CTA believes regular attendance is vital to student success,” said CTA President and kindergarten teacher Dean E. Vogel. “We believe in programs and support legislation that reduces student dropouts in California and urge the state to take much-needed steps to address this rising problem in our state. AB 1866 provides a good opportunity for our state to address a factor that has been impacting student achievement for years and are pleased to support this bill sponsored by Attorney General Harris.”
Specifically, AB 1866 requires the state to include in its reports to local school districts and county offices of education precise and longitudinal statewide records of student absence, chronic absenteeism, truancy, and chronic truancy. The bill also requires the state to provide information about the numbers of students in each category. California is one of only four states that does not collect such data at the state level.
“At a time when school funding is based on average daily attendance (ADA), it is extremely important for truancy and absenteeism to be minimized in order for schools to receive accurate funding levels that will contribute to student success,” added Vogel.
AB 1866 is pending in the state Senate.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association