D.C. Could Get Tough on Truancy

Catania reveals plans to crack down on parents of kids who skip school

By Tonya LaFleur
|  Friday, Jan 11, 2013  |  Updated 10:01 PM EDT
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D.C. Could Get Tough on Truancy

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The District could soon be cracking down on parents whose kids are skipping school.

D.C. Council member David Catania announced a plan for tough new truancy laws during an interview on WAMU radio on Friday.

After a student misses more than 10 days of school, their parent or guardian would get a letter in the mail warning them they are violating the law. Missing 20 days of class would mean mandatory prosecution. The punishment would not mean jail time for parents.

“I’m talking about mandatory community service for the parent or guardian in the hours equivalent to the hours the child is in school,“ Catania clarified. “Someone from that family needs to be in school.”

Catania is the chairman of D.C. Council’s newly formed Education Committee.

The graduation rates in most D.C. schools appear to be on par with attendance rates, according to statistics listed by Catania. In some District schools, almost half of the students miss more than 20 days a year.

Catania also plans to get more D.C. schools in class by imposing a daytime curfew.

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