Understand differing district responsibilities: chronic absenteeism and truancy
When a student is absent from school, even if excused for legitimate circumstances, the student is missing instruction. For some students, this happens too frequently. Chronic absenteeism and truancy have become the focus of both Ohio and federal concern for our children, but the difference between them can be confusing.
Chronic absenteeism is defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act as missing 10 percent or more of the school year for any reason. It includes excused and unexcused absences. The state encourages schools and districts to work with community partners to help their chronically absent students get to school every day. Don’t think you have to wait until a child has missed 10 percent of the school year to offer these supports. Early intervention can keep chronic absenteeism from becoming truancy.
Truancy, according to Ohio House Bill 410, is reflected by any child of compulsory school age who is absent without legitimate excuse from his or her public school for 30 or more consecutive hours, 42 or more hours in one school month or 72 or more hours in a school year. Truancy counts only absences without a legitimate excuse. When a child is habitually truant, the law requires the district to follow several administrative procedures and legal solutions to make sure the student attends school regularly.
See more information about chronic absenteeism and HB 410 (truancy) here.