Saturday, January 3, 2015

California School Truancy Creates Serious Problems

The State of California has been presented with a serious problem. Since "confinement in a juvenile detention facility or juvenile hall is no longer allowed as a penalty for minors who fail to obey a judge's order to attend school" with the passage of California's 2015 law, there is no longer an incentive for rebellious youth to attend school.

Statistics from the September 12, 2014 Los Angeles Times report, "Truancy rates are higher among California's low-income students" and "African American students missed 10% or more of the school year at almost four times the rate of all students." Similarly, disadvantaged students are more likely to drop out of school.

Interestingly, student truancy puts a strain on California's economy and California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris states, "Good education policies are meaningless if students aren't at their desks." So, I question, "Why would Governor Jerry Brown sign a new truancy law that is both counter productive and not in California's best interest?

Warning: Truant Youth 

Not included in that report are the ramifications of what low income youth do when they aren't in school. I can only imagine the problems associated with minors out on the streets when they should be in school! Long-term ramifications relate those that don't graduate from high school are more likely to end up unemployed and committing crimes and state data show that 75% of California's prison inmates are high school dropouts. I guess Governor Brown didn't take this into consideration with the passage of his new law regarding truancy in the justice system!

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