Pennsylvania Truancy Policy
PENNSYLVANIA’S NEW TRUANCY LAW – November 2016
Governor Wolf signed new truancy legislation into law on Thursday, November 3, 2016. The new provisions take effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 School year.
Purpose of the new law. The law expressly States that its purpose is to improve School attendance and deter truancy through a “comprehensive approach to Consistently identify and address attendance issues as early as possible through credible interventions” that:
- Preserve the unity of the family whenever possible;
- Avoid the loss of housing, the possible entry of a child to foster Care, and other unintended consequences of disrupting an intact family unit;
- Confine a parent or guardian of a child who is habitually truant only as a last resort.
Definition of ‘truant.’ The new law defines “truant” as “having three (3) or more School days of unexcused absence during the current School year by a child Subject to the Compulsory School attendance law.”
Definition of “habitually truant.” The new law defines “habitually truant” as “having six (6) or more School days of unexcused absences during the current School year by a child Subject to the Compulsory School attendance law.”
Charter schools. The Law Substantially changes the way in which charter and cyber charter schools address student attendance and shifts responsibility from authorizing school districts to charter schools. To review the entire document click Pennsylvania New Truancy Policy.