SLO County truancy rate second highest in state

September 30, 2013

school6San 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.




  1. rogerfreberg says:

    “Most honest schools in California”?? Yeah, I’ll buy that. ;)

    The easiest way to beat truancy is twofold: having something real to offer and the expectations of the school. Magnet schools have been successful in some of the worst communities in the country… and San Luis Coastal has more money per student than almost anyone… it just is spent differently.

    Self paced instruction is an old idea that has proven itself… and is a given in successful home school programs. I would also ask… where is the computer instruction??

    San Luis Coastal is slo no matter how you try to spin it…. thoughtful parents can’t depend on local education to deliver what will be required in the workplace… they must get outside help or work with their children to advance them in math, science, english and foreign language.

    Here is an insight for you… at one parent teacher conference, the principal stated that developing the social relationships of the children is more important that academics…. compliance and not achievement.

    This is why San Luis fails… offer something valuable… and the students and their parents will come.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. isoslo says:

    My guess is that SLO county is the most honest of the California schools. If you lie and keep your attendance high you get more money. So the motivation is to lie and just say that many who were truant had valid excuses. Money rules all! Also many in SLO county realize there are often more important things to do than attend public school.

    (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      BAM! My first thought, too! No way we have more kids ditching school than some of the urban areas. No way.

      …but then that would mean that some (a lot?) teachers and school principals and secretaries are all lying and cheating! Oh… our sacred cows… oh no…

      (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  3. granola_girl says:

    “The California Legislature defined a truant in very precise language. In summary, it states that a student missing more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year must be classified as a truant and reported to the proper school authority.”

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  4. Jorge Estrada says:

    An why is that? The problem is? The parents are? Are we to fund the consequences?

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      You are to fund everything, whether you like it or participate in it or not.


      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  5. hijinks says:

    It would be nice to know what constitutes a “truancy.” If a parent keeps a kid home, is that a “truancy”? It’s hard to imagine kindergarteners simply taking off for the day, which is the common meaning of the word. Hmn.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • granola_girl says:

      hijinks– see my comment above for CA education code definition of truancy.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down

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