SLO County truancy rate second highest in state
September 30, 2013
San Luis Obispo County elementary schools had the second highest truancy rate in the state during the 2011-2012 school year, according to a report released Monday by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
More than 30 percent of San Luis Obispo County elementary school students skipped class without permission in the 2011-2012. Only Calaveras County in the Sierra Nevada mountains had a higher truancy rate.
19,908 students were enrolled in elementary school in San Luis Obispo County during 2011-2012. 5,712 students, or 30.2 percent, had truancies.
Statewide, about 20 percent of elementary school students had truancies.
Schools receive state education money based on their attendance. Harris said in her report that school districts lose $1.4 billion per year in state funding due to truancies.
Harris called the truancy problem an “attendance crisis.”
“The California Constitution guarantees every child the right to an education, yet we are failing our youngest children, as early as kindergarten,” Harris said in a statement. “The crisis is not only crippling for our economy, it is a basic threat to public safety.”
The reported stated that families struggling with poverty, homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse frequently cause students to be truant.