Truancy plan gets early dismissal

May 1, 2012

A plan to put subjective teeth in a countywide anti-truancy ordinance was expelled by supervisors Tuesday in the aftermath of a chilly public reception.

Parents of home-schooled children and civil libertarians were among a growing army of opponents to the proposal, which would have granted “detaining powers” to school resources officers and other authorities which are not currently allowed.

Advocates, including the county probation and sheriff’s departments and school superintendents, haven’t been able to articulate clear elements of enforcement — such as how one determines who is a truant student prior to the individual’s being approached and detained.

Ordinance opponents asserted the plan would subvert constitutional protections against unreasonable searches without probable cause.

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Comment below intended as a reply to Russ J.

Rather than going the “All or nothing” route with school vouchers, why can’t a system be put in place for a limited voucher system that would not hurt schools financially and perhaps help them?

My quick Googling shows the cost per year for a student in SLO County to be a bit over $8000 each. If vouchers for 50% of that were issued to parents who wanted to send their kids to private schools (or even home schools), it would reduce the workload for the public schools by (almost) twice as much as the reduction in spending. This would give public schools proportionately more money per student than they currently get.

Hypothetical example: Current 6th grade class of 30 students costs the public school $240,000 per year to educate ($8000/student). Reducing the class size by giving vouchers to 10 parents for $4000 each would leave $200,000 to educate 20 students ($10,000 per student).

Yes, I know that there are other factors involved such as efficiencies of scale, non-proportional overhead costs and the likelihood that the remaining pupils might be more difficult/expensive to teach. But the principle remains the same and a reduction in the voucher amount could be made to compensate for such inequities if they were excessive.

One big problem would be insuring that state funding didn’t go to incompetent or corrupt education. Annual testing of kids whose education was subsidized by vouchers would be necessary to prevent such abuses. A requirement that they meet the same standards as the average public school student prior to receiving the voucher could achieve that.

The other big problem would be insuring that the funding for public schools remained stable (per pupil) and would not be cut by increasing numbers of private schooling voters with an “only my kids count” attitude. This would have to be included in any legislation in such a way that it could not be easily changed later.

Can you spell – school voucher?


Russ J,

Hey, I can spell it! S-c-h-o-o-l v-o-u-c-h-e-r-s! Do I get a gold star?

School vouchers would be great in the fact that only the wealthy, and Christian, could afford to send their children to private schools with vouchers in hand!

Screw the low and middle-income families, who will not be able to afford the difference between the voucher and tuition costs. Even if poor families could come up with the full tuition amount, few private schools are located in the nation’s inner cities or other economically depressed areas. Fewer still are likely to admit children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

What is really cool is that vouchers are specifically designed to avoid real accountability. Hypothetical; taxpayer money flows into religious schools whose physical plant, curriculum, teaching staff, student population etc., are subject to “private control”, just like the church accounting books, praise! “Hey Pastor Jones, that’s a wonderful new Mercedes CLS, great color, when did you buy that?”

Is that why in DC school vouchers were overwhelmingly supported by minority (mainly poor black families) and were very disappointed them Obama quit funding them so their kids were lost into the rat infested public schools? Obama sends his kids to private Sidwell Friends school.

Just another great reason to home school and stay out of the system.

We are going to home school our little ones, the schools are a ATM for the teachers not an educational facility anymore.


I would agree that the educational system has serious problems but I think that you are placing far too much blame on the teachers. Much of their “incompetence” is due to the restrictions placed upon them by bureaucracy and administration rules.

Some of it is due to unrealistic expectations that they must do far more than teach. Irresponsible parents shove their undisciplined kids into the school system and expect the teachers to perform magic on them without significant parental support. Meanwhile, good parents get frustrated because their kids don’t get as much education due to the time wasted on the troubled ones. A few teachers are up to this challenge but many otherwise competent teachers are not.

Yes there are a few teachers that are incompetent by nature and a few who are so because they have given up and are only interested in riding out enough time to collect a good retirement check. But, while these problems need to be addressed (a less generous pension system might discourage some of the latter), the biggest problems are not in the individual teachers but in the educational systems, in the legal systems that have prevented even reasonable discipline from being an affordable option, and in societal attitudes in general.


Truer words were never spoken, praise!

This is too much truthful logic and reason for Bob to actually swallow. Besides, it goes directly against what his pre-determined talking points are upon this topic, aka, Faux News.

How many times did my school teacher ex-wife, I think it was number seven, come home with these same notions that you have so eloquently described above? Too many times!



You’re correct! As an example, what true Christian would send their children to these ungodly public schools with all their Satanic science mumbo jumbo? When a Christian home-schools, then they can only teach their children about the Judeo-Christian God’s creation! Then their offspring can go out into the world and laugh at evilution stating that humanity is about 200,000 years old, compared to the truth of the bible stating that we’re only 6-8000 years old!

Besides, who needs socialization in the first place, and who cares if your teaching parents don’t know jack about algebra, insubordinate clauses, the Pythagorean theorem, participle phrases, punctuation rules, gravitational laws of physics and the like!! All the home-schooled Christian child needs is the bible for their learning. Yes, then they will be ready for the real world!

Barring the fact that most need two incomes to survive in this economy, one parent will have to quit their job, while the other spouse picks up another job to equal out the income.

If your child has special learning needs, you will not be able to get assistance like children enrolled in regular public or private school. Therefore, the working parent will have to get a third job.

The home-schooling parent takes on quite a responsibility in that they oversee all aspects of their child’s education – everything from planning the school year, ordering educational resources, and organizing field trips, to finding any needed enrichment activities, teaching daily lessons and marking schoolwork. In essence, their kids are around them 24/7, how wonderful it that?!

There is a plethora of other inconveniences and turmoil in home-schooling, especially if the family has a baby or toddler at the same time they’re teaching their child, but the true Christian can handle it, praise!

@Ted…We homeschooled one of our kids for one year and I can attest that it is insanely difficult. There are a ton of resources out there, but it takes a parent with time and energy to provide the proper education. Also, you can make this a Christian vs. secular sector issue, but it isn’t. Our neighbors pulled their son from elementary school and are now in their third year of a home school group (they are atheists BTW).

In our case, we’ve had two children go through the San Luis Coastal Unified system K-12 (with the exception of that one year), and I can assure you that the system is BROKEN. There are very few teachers that I would consider great or excellent. It seems to be the same story in most places in the US. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to value teachers much in our society. If and when you have children go through the system, you will understand what I mean.


You cannot make a sweeping generalization in that all teachers are incompetent. I am sure there’re teachers that qualify for this title, but not all. It’s a dice throw to what teacher you get, and if you feel they’re not to your liking, you have the opportunity to change teachers if possible.

“Home school groups” are NOT the true meaning of being home-schooled. They are like mini-schools with no accountability of their alleged “teachers” being properly trained and actually knowing the subjects being taught.

What’s the lessor of two evils? Home-schooling, or take the chance of public schools? You were NOT qualified to be a teacher. You are not qualified in all the areas of learning. An algebra teacher is just that, an english teacher is just that. You cannot cover all the bases, and a child is at a disadvantage because of this fact.

You stated that in your opinion, there were only a few teachers that were great or excellent. Where did you place in this situation as a “teacher?” Who determines how good you were?

Your neighbors were ungodly atheists?! If you’re a Christian, I am sure that you’re not even acknowledging them as Jesus so states; “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)

My children have gone through the system, and yes, subjectively, there were a few bum teachers along the way. In the same vein, there’re a lot of bum city officials, bum Congressmen, Senators, and the like. It’s a part of the equation and therefore we have to live with it. It’s the real world. Show us nirvana, and we’ll all sign up!

I didn’t make a sweeping generalization that all teachers are incompetent. I said that the system is broken. The current standard for a teacher is way too low. What is my definition of a great or excellent teacher? Simply, one that performs the job as intended; knows and teaches their subject matter well, manages the classroom well (behavior, work rate, etc.), and is able to mentor in other areas of life (probably in that order). I am sure that there are qualities I am forgetting. But, the short of it is, we all know who the good teachers are. But, my issue is with the system in general (administration, unions, testing protocols, and so on), not just bad teachers. So, I can understand when some folks are fed up and try other options such as home schooling. We tried it and it wasn’t for us (we did our year through the Templeton Unified Home-School program). I also don’t believe in school vouchers. I think we need to overhaul our educational system. Other countries have done just that with success.

I must admit that I am surprised to learn that you have had children that have gone through the system, which means that we are at least of similar age. I had pegged the views in your posts as youthful idealism. Now I am seriously confused ;-)

don’t worry about Ted or interacting with him. He does not make much sense and mainly tries to rant about his hatred of Christ through his lame attempt at sarcasm.


Let me count the times that I’ve received the same inane response that you just made regarding my biblical teachings to the ignorant! Wait, I can’t count them because there’re too many! You’ve brought forth nothing new.

I am sorry that you’re feeling the pain of the truth and reality that I bring forth, really I am. Just accept the fact of this happening and move on in your world of “make believe” the best way you can.

Do you ever find it amusing that you don’t, or can’t, refute my alleged lame attempts regarding the historical content within the bible? Huh? Hmmm, wonder why?

Just stay “downtown”.

Whatever don’t really care what you think of the Bible, just wish you would add something interesting to the conversation.

Downtown Bob,

You’re kidding us, right? Wait, is Allan Funt going to run into my living room and tell me that I am on “Candid Camera?” Yes?

Within this thread alone, I have given more cogent responses as I remain on topic, than your directly inane attempts in trying to be funny, and this is while you are off topic! Do the simple math!

Bob, didn’t I tell you to stay downtown?

Hoam Skule .

education for IDIOTS !

Stay out of the system, stay out of civilization. Just go away or die. You’re too frickin’ DUMB to live in the 21st Century !

Not necessarily true. There are a few “Fundy” morons who mis-educate (attempt to brainwash) their kids. There are even a few secularists that get in over their heads with home schooling. But there are a lot more people (religious and otherwise) who work hard to provide their kids with a good education and generally succeed –often to providing them a broader and more thorough education than most public schools provide.

If they are allowed to work cooperatively with the public schools (i.e. paying to enroll their kids in selective specialty classes requiring expensive equipment like chemistry or physics), their kids may even match public school performances in these fields too.

My sister, a credentialed teacher in another state, quit public school teaching to home school her kids. While she is quite religious, she is not the ignorant “idiot” you fear. Her kids did take some public school classes from their local high school and had no problems with it. One is about to graduate from a public university and the other two are doing quite well in post-secondary public schools too. I wouldn’t be surprised if any or all of them graduated with honors.

They avoided the “lack of socialization” fears by being part of a home schooling “collective” where different parents with different abilities taught classes to groups of home-schooled kids. This collective also had recreational programs so that kids could socialize but that could also be achieved by kids engaging in other youth activities outside the school system such as Little League Baseball, Scouting or church group activities.

People who denigrate “Hoam Skulin'” based on a few selective examples are as guilty of ignorant biases as the worst of the Fox News zombies.

My daughter does not have the right to skip school. My daughter does not have the right to use my home as a party house. My daughter does not have the right to use my vehicle. My daughter does not have the right to wear clothing I deem inappropriate. My daughter does not have the right to be out after dark. My daughter does not have the right to be disrespectful—to ANYONE. My daughter does not have rights UNTIL she is no longer in my house, can pay her own way and is independent from me.

But your daughter does have the right as a US Citizen not to be detained by a cop because he thinks maybe she should be in school when he doesn’t know “jack” about her education arrangements and he has no right making her prove what those arrangements are. Seeing to the appropriateness of her where abouts during school hours is your job as her parent and you sound like you do it quite well.


I’ll go out on a limb and say that your daughter does, in fact, have those rights in the eyes of the law; she does not have those “privileges” in your household. Which is good, and it sounds like you’re raisin’ ’em well. But it’s not quite fair to blend your family’s rules with “rights.”

Sooooooooo, that means that we needed a law why? The law had nothing to do with your daughters right to party, drive, wear clothing, or her attitude. That is your right, no I mean your responsibility to make sure your kid does not party in your house or anyone else’ house, goes to school,

You need to re-read the constitution lady. I am so glad i did not get raised by some idiot who thought I had no “rights”. I had rule that were to be followed but my folks always accepted me. You are whacked out.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE, enough is enough. If a parent has an out of control child who is constantly bunking school or if the school knows of a problem with a student then there is an easy solution. To the extent that the truancy officers are willing to chase kids around, then the parent can provide a description and photo of the problem student with permission to detain them if they are seen out and about during school hours. Unless the kid is on the list, no one has a business detaining them during gummint school hours.

This business of raising our children to have no rights is BS. I agree with the decision to scrap this GESTAPO idea of stopping anyone who looks like they should be in school. Some of the smartest kids out there are home schooled, I know a few and it would be infuriating to see them have to put up with these latest nanny gummint ideas. Mind your own business …………………

Once again, it’s about the MONEY. If a public school can’t fill that seat, they don’t get their $5K/per pupil ADA cash.

Pesky homeschoolers cost the all-wise State too much money.

There will be a day (sooner than we think, I bet) when homeschooling becomes illegal in the USA just like it is in Germany & other countries.

The State wants those little ones (the younger the better!) in its wonderful high-performing (*cough*cough*) schools because we all know that indoctrination needs to start when they’re small.

Yikes I agree with Cindy AND pasoparent5 simultaneously.. what is this world coming to? :)

Sometimes those on the Right and those on the Left (and everyone in between) really do agree…at least for now. :0