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AB-2616 School districts: truancy.(2011-2012)

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AB2616:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2616
CHAPTER 432

An act to amend Sections 48260 and 48264.5 of the Education Code, relating to school districts.

[ Approved by Governor  September 21, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  September 21, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2616, Carter. School districts: truancy.
Existing law defines a truant as any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse 3 full days in one school year, or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the schoolday without a valid excuse on 3 occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. Existing law specifies that a pupil who is required to be reported as a truant is subject to specified penalties for the first through 4th instances that a truancy report is issued to a pupil.
This bill would identify specific reasons that constitute a valid excuse for which a pupil may be absent from school for purposes of being classified as a truant. The bill would revise certain penalties resulting from the issuance of specified truancy reports and would specify that the first time a truancy report is issued, the pupil and, as appropriate, the pupil’s parent or legal guardian, may be requested to attend a meeting with a school counselor or other school designee to discuss the root causes of the attendance issue and develop a joint plan to improve the pupil’s attendance. The bill would specify that the 2nd time a truancy report is issued, the pupil may be personally given a written warning by a peace officer, as specified, and that the 4th time a truancy report is issued, a pupil who is adjudged a ward of the court may instead be required to pay a fine of not more than $50, as specified. The bill also would make nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 48260 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48260.
 (a) A pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the schoolday without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature that school districts shall not change the method of attendance accounting provided for in existing law and shall not be required to employ period-by-period attendance accounting.
(c) For purposes of this article, a valid excuse includes, but is not limited to, the reasons for which a pupil shall be excused from school pursuant to Sections 48205 and 48225.5 and may include other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil’s circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse.

SEC. 2.

 Section 48264.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48264.5.
 A minor who is classified as a truant pursuant to Section 48260 or 48261 may be required to attend makeup classes conducted on one day of a weekend pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 37223 and is subject to the following:
(a) The first time a truancy report is issued, the pupil and, as appropriate, the parent or legal guardian, may be requested to attend a meeting with a school counselor or other school designee to discuss the root causes of the attendance issue and develop a joint plan to improve the pupil’s attendance.
(b) The second time a truancy report is issued within the same school year, the pupil may be given a written warning by a peace officer as specified in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code. A record of the written warning may be kept at the school for not less than two years or until the pupil graduates or transfers from that school. If the pupil transfers from that school, the record may be forwarded to the school receiving the pupil’s school records. A record of the written warning may be maintained by the law enforcement agency in accordance with that law enforcement agency’s policies and procedures. The pupil may also be assigned by the school to an afterschool or weekend study program located within the same county as the pupil’s school. If the pupil fails to successfully complete the assigned study program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (c).
(c) The third time a truancy report is issued within the same school year, the pupil shall be classified as a habitual truant, as defined in Section 48262, and may be referred to, and required to attend, an attendance review board or a truancy mediation program pursuant to Section 48263 or pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the school district does not have a truancy mediation program, the pupil may be required to attend a comparable program deemed acceptable by the school district’s attendance supervisor. If the pupil does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program or other similar program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (d).
(d) The fourth time a truancy is issued within the same school year, the pupil may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court that may adjudge the pupil to be a ward of the court pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the pupil is adjudged a ward of the court, the pupil shall be required to do one or more of the following:
(1) Performance at court-approved community services sponsored by either a public or private nonprofit agency for not less than 20 hours but not more than 40 hours over a period not to exceed 90 days, during a time other than the pupil’s hours of school attendance or employment. The probation officer shall report to the court the failure of the pupil to comply with this paragraph.
(2) Payment of a fine by the pupil of not more than fifty dollars ($50) for which a parent or legal guardian of the pupil may be jointly liable. The fine described in this paragraph shall not be subject to the assessments of Section 1464 of the Penal Code or any other applicable section.
(3) Attendance of a court-approved truancy prevention program.
(4) Suspension or revocation of driving privileges pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code. This subdivision shall apply only to a pupil who has attended a school attendance review board program, a program operated by a probation department acting as a school attendance review board, or a truancy mediation program pursuant to subdivision (c).