School Attendance Laws
The law in
Education Code, Section 48200 requires:
1. Parents/guardians to send minors under their custody to school on a daily basis for the full length of the school day as established by the governing board of the district.
2. Minors six (6) to sixteen (16) years of age to attend compulsory full-time school on a daily basis for the full length of the school day (or district alternative programs as available).
3. Minors sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) years of age to attend continuation school on a daily basis for the full length of the school day (if not enrolled in traditional high school or other alternative education program provided by the district.
Education Code, Section 48260-48263 provides definitions and referral procedures for:
1. Any student to compulsory attendance who is absent without a valid excuse more than three (3) days in one school year is truant.
2. Any student who has exceeded the unexcused absences or tardies as described above and for when an appropriate district employee has made conscientious effort to hold at least one (1) conference with the parent/guardian and the student is deemed a habitual truant.
3. Any student defined as habitual truant who continues an unacceptable pattern of unexcused absences or tardies may be referred to the district’s School Attendance Review Board (SARB).
Education Code, Section 48320-48325 establishes the powers and duties of the SARB as:
1. The authority to require a written contract between the parent/guardian and the student with the board.
2. The authority to refer the student and/or guardian/parent to appropriate community service agencies for counseling.
3. The authority to request alternative school or program placement for the student within or outside of the district.
4. The authority to recommend that the parent/guardian attend school with the student.
5. The authority to refer the student and/or guardian to the juvenile justice system (Court).
Education Code, Section 48293 establishes penalties against parents/guardians as:
1. Upon a first conviction, a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100), parent education, counseling or community services.
2. Upon a second conviction, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), parent education, counseling or community service.
3. Upon a third conviction, a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), parent education, counseling or community service.
Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 601 (et al) describes the consequences for habitual truancy if a
minor pleads or is found guilty by trial to include but not limited to:
1. Being made a ward of the court (placed on probation)
2. Having a driver’s license revoked or denied until age eighteen (18).
3. Being placed in juvenile hall for a violation of the order of the court.
NOTE: Failure to appear for a court hearing will result in the parent and/or minor being cited, having a bench warrant issued and being arrested and placed in jail/juvenile hall.