APPENDIX:

Appendix A: Glossary

Attendance Officers (Attendance Clerks): The board of education of each school district or county is required to appoint a supervisor of attendance, as well as an assistant supervisor of attendance, as necessary to supervise the attendance of students in that district or county. California Education Code section 48240 provides that the duties of the attendance officers will include duties related to compulsory full-time education, truancy, work-permits, compulsory continuing education, and opportunity schools, classes, and programs.

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA): ANCOVA is a statistical linear model that tests whether averages of a dependent variable vary across different levels of an independent variable. A covariate is included in the analysis in order to control for any variables that are not of primary importance.

Academic Performance Index (API): In California, API is a single number, ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1000, used to measure school performance based on the results of statewide testing (California Standardized Test scores). The state has set a score of 800 as its target score for all schools. Any schools whose score falls below 800 are not performing at a level that the state considers acceptable.

Average Daily Attendance (ADA): ADA is the number of days a student attends school, divided by the total number of days of instruction. For example, if a student attends school every day of the school year their ADA would be 1. If a student attends only half of the school days in a school year, their ADA would be 0.5. In California, ADA is used to determine a school district’s general purpose funding.236http://www.edsource.org/1077.html

CALPADS: California’s student-level information system which allows the state to track students and their academic achievement over time. CALPADS collects records on statewide assessments, enrollment and other demographic information required by federal No Child Left Behind Legislation (NCLB).

California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS): The purpose of CBEDS is to collect information on schools, students, teachers and school staff in California public schools (K-12). CBEDS is used by the California Department of Education (CDE) to collect information from schools each fall on school enrollment, graduates, dropouts, vocational education, alternative education, adult education, course enrollment, classified staff, certificated staff, technology, teacher shortage, and demand (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/dc/cb/).

California Department of Education (CDE): The CDE is a department within the State government created by statute which oversees California’s education system. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction leads the CDE.

California State Board of Education (SBE): The SBE is the K-12 policy-determining body for the State of California. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who heads the CDE, also serves as SBE’s executive officer and secretary. The SBE has 11 members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor and serve four-year, staggered terms, with the exception of the student member, who serves a one-year term. The SBE sets K-12 education policy in the areas of standards, curriculum, instructional materials, assessment, and accountability. The SBE also adopts regulations (Title 5) to implement a wide variety of programs created by the Legislature, such as charter schools and special education. In addition, the SBE has the authority to grant local education agency requests for waivers of certain provisions of the state Education Code.

California Standards Test (CST): CSTs are part of California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) system. CSTs, taken in grades 2-11, are based on the state’s content standards. Students are tested in English Language Arts and mathematics in grades 2-11, in history/social science in grades 8, 10 and 11, in science in grades 5, 8, 10.

Chronic Absence: Chronic absence is defined as missing 10% or more of the school year for any reason, excused or unexcused. In California, 10% of the school year equals about 18 days of missed school, or two days a month based upon the typical 180 day school year. Chronic absence is distinct from truancy because truancy concerns only unexcused absences and tardiness.

Chronic Truant: 237California Education Code section 48263.6. A student is deemed a chronic truant if they are absent from school without a valid excuse for 10% or more of the school year, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with Sections 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, and 48291 of the education code.

County Office of Education (COE): All 58 counties in California have a county office of education. Most COEs oversee multiple school districts. The COE is responsible for the oversight of district finances; many provide certain centralized services to school districts. COEs also run special schools and education programs.

DataQuest: The State of California’s online, public, searchable database maintained by the California Department of Education which contains data collected about California schools and districts. (http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/).

Early Childhood Longitudinal (ECLS) Program: ECLS data, collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), provides a national and publicly available dataset on a sample of children from birth to eighth grade. This widely-used and extensive dataset provides information on a large sample of students over time, and allows researchers to examine the relationships among a wide range of family, school, community, and individual variables as well as variables related to a child's development, their early learning, and school performance.

Habitual Truant:238California Education Code section 48262 After the third report of truancy, a student may be deemed a “habitual truant” if the school and/or district has properly reported the first and second truancy as required under Education Code sections 48260 and 48261 and made a conscientious effort to communicate with the parent at least once.

Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP): Each district is required to create their own LCAP to outline how they will allocate supplemental and concentration funds under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) based on the state’s eight priorities. The State Board of Education is expected to release a template for local control accountability in March 2014. Local districts and county offices of education will need to adopt a LCAP by July 2014. They are required to update their plans annually.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF): LCFF is the new formula for funding California schools adopted by the Governor and Legislature in 2013. LCFF gives every school district a base funding amount according to the number of students in the district. Additional funds are allocated to districts based on the number of economically disadvantaged students and the number of English Language learners. Schools where more than 55 percent of the students are English learners or economically disadvantaged qualify for additional “concentration” funds. The new funding formula also gives school district more control over how the funds are spent.

School Attendance Review Board (SARB): SARBs are used by many districts and counties to collaboratively address attendance issues. SARBs can be formed at the school district or county level, though neither counties nor districts are required to form or utilize a SARB. SARBs were established by the state legislature to bring together the school district, law enforcement, public agencies and other key stakeholders to develop methods for combating truancy and absenteeism. The relationships built through SARBs help agencies and schools identify and implement personalized intervention strategies for at-risk students and their families. For more information on SARBs, see http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ai/sb/.

School Attendance Review Team (SART): A SART is a team formed at the school site (rather than the district level) that generally includes the parent and the student, the principal, the teacher and the SARB Chairperson. The goal of this team is to identify ways to improve the students' attendance and/or behavior without having to engage the district-level SARB or, later, law enforcement.

Student Success Team (SST): As a school-based team, the student, parent, teacher, and school administrator identify the strengths of students as well as assets that can be improved upon to insure student success. SSTs are sometimes used to address attendance issues, similar to a SART.

State School Attendance Review Board (SARB): The State SARB, established under Education Code Section 48325, oversees and assists the county and local SARBs across California. Its purpose is statewide policy coordination and personnel training to divert students with serious attendance and behavior problems from the juvenile justice system and to reduce the number of dropouts in the state public education system. The State SARB makes annual recommendations to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) regarding the needs of high-risk youth. (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ai/sb/sarbmembers.asp).

State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI): The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) is a state official elected by the people on a nonpartisan ballot for a four-year term. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is responsible for the well-being of all of the schools in the state, serves as the executive officer and secretary of the SBE, and is responsible for preparing an annual estimate of the amount of education funding that will be apportioned to each county.

Student-level attendance records: Attendance records tracked by individual students.

Tardy: The term tardy is not specifically defined in the California Education Code, but Education Code section 48260 subdivision (a) renders a student tardy if they are absent without an excuse for more than a 30-minute period.

Truancy: Truancy generally refers to a student’s accumulation of unexcused absences and/or tardies during the school year. In California, a student who is tardy or absent from school for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions within the same school year is deemed a truant. (See Education Code section 48293.) Different states define truancy differently. For example, South Carolina defines a truant as a child, at least 6 but not yet 17 years old, who has accumulated three consecutive unlawful absences or a total of five unlawful absences. However, Mississippi defines a truant as a student that has accumulated five (5) or more unlawful absences in a school year, excluding suspension and expulsion days.

(First) Truancy Notification letter (T1): The T1 is a letter from the school district required under California law notifying a student’s parent or guardian of the student’s first truancy. The notification must include the following information: (1) That the pupil is truant; (2) That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school; (3) That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution; (4) That alternative educational programs are available in the district; (5) That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil’s truancy; (6) That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Education Code section 48264; (7) That the pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the pupil's driving privilege pursuant to Vehicle Code section 13202.7; and (8) That it is recommended that the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes with the pupil for one day.

(Second) Truancy Notification Letter (T2): If a student who has once been reported as a truant is again absent or tardy in excess of 30 minutes from school without a valid excuse one or more days after the first report of truancy, the school district must report the student as a truant to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the school district. Although not legally required to send a letter to the family of a truant student, many districts send a second notification of truancy letter (T2) to inform parents that their child continues to have an attendance problem.

(Third) Truancy Notification Letter (T3): Upon the fifth unexcused absence or tardy in excess of 30 minutes, parents must be notified using a T3 letter. Additionally, once a student is reported as truant three or more times in a school year, a school district officer or employee must make a “conscientious effort” to hold at least one meeting with the student’s parent or guardian and the student. The requirement that the school district make a conscientious effort means “attempting to communicate with the parents of the pupil at least once using the most cost-effective method possible.”

Appendix B:

Resarch Methodology

On May 1, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris sent a letter239http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/advisory_panels/truancy_mandates_school_letter.pdf. every school district in California outlining California’s truancy mandates. The letter also invited districts to contact our office with information about their efforts to reduce truancy. Approximately two dozen districts contacted our office to discuss their anti-truancy efforts. Our office reached out to and received information from approximately three dozen additional districts, in order to ensure a representative sample of school districts from across California – large and small, rural and urban with diverse student populations.

In addition, we reached out to district attorneys from across the state who have been engaged in anti-truancy work. We also contacted representatives from community- and faith-based organizations, non-profits and for-profit companies and public agencies all engaged in truancy prevention work.

Interview Methodology

We conducted over 60 interviews for the report, logging hundreds of hours of in-depth discussion with our partners in education, law enforcement and with a range of service providers.

For this report, we interviewed:

  • 36 school district leaders
  • 11 representatives from county offices of education
  • 12 district attorneys
  • 5 representatives from government agencies, and
  • 5 non-profit community partners

The first round of interviews was conducted with school district leaders who responded to the Attorney General’s May 1, 2013 letter. Subsequent interviews were conducted with school districts and district attorneys, and county offices of education either because they have been recognized for their exemplary work to address attendance issues in their district or jurisdiction, or because they were located in a California county that were not yet represented by our surveys and interviews. Most of the interviews took place by phone and lasted approximately an hour. A few in-person interviews were also conducted.

Survey Methodology

We drafted and conducted five distinct surveys with five distinct audiences to gather information about prevention and intervention strategies for truancy and chronic absence, and to better understand the impact of attendance issues on student outcomes. Because these surveys were voluntary, one would expect respondents to be more advanced than average in terms of their attendance intervention strategies.

California District Attorney’s Association Survey. Our partners at Fight Crime: Invest in Kids invited district attorneys at the CDAA Summer Conference in June 2013 to respond to paper copies of a five-question survey we created. Nine district attorneys responded to our voluntary “Violence Prevention Survey.”

Youth Adult Awareness Program (YAAP) Participant Survey. We conducted a survey of inmates at Avenal State Prison who participate in the YAAP program to gather information on the experience of incarcerated adults with truancy and any suggestions they have for strengthening truancy prevention efforts. 27 YAAP participants responded to our 10-question paper survey that was distributed on our behalf by the program facilitator.

Truancy Court Parent Survey. In order to better understand the experience of parents who have gone through truancy court, we conducted a short survey of parents from the Alameda County Truancy Court. 24 parents responded to our eight-question paper survey. The survey was distributed to parents at the truancy court “graduation,” the day when the court met with all of the parents who had successfully completed the Alameda County truancy court program.

California School District Leadership Survey. Our largest survey was conducted among school district leaders in California. 50 school district leaders responded to our extensive survey about their district’s processes for tracking attendance and their prevention and intervention strategies. Our survey was circulated electronically to all districts who responded to the Attorney General’s May 1, 2013 letter. We called and emailed additional school districts to invite them to participate in our survey to ensure that a representative sample of districts responded. Table 1 demonstrates the representativeness of the sample. We also asked county offices of education to distribute the survey to districts in their county.

Table 1: Demographics of students represented by California School District Leadership survey respondents (data compared to state demographics)

  Percent of Student Population
Student Characteristics Survey Data Statewide Data
Latino 52.68% 52.71%
White 31.04% 25.52%
Asian 4.28% 8.62%
African-American 5.56% 6.34%
Multiracial 2.87% 2.41%
Free & Reduced Price Lunch Participation 66.35% 57.50%
English Language Learners 22.29% 21.67%
Truancy Rate 21.80% 28.50%

Joint County Survey. To obtain further information about State Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) and other attendance-improvement programs, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and State Superintendent Tom Torlakson sent a joint letter to all county offices of education inviting them to complete a survey regarding SARB and other attendance programs developed in their counties. As of September 18, 2013, 22 counties had responded to the survey. In addition, the Attorney General requested that each of the 58 counties in California send us copies of the SARB reports, if any, submitted to them by their respective districts for the last three school years. All 58 counties responded and either provided our office with SARB records or a confirmation that there were either no SARBs in their jurisdictions for the requested time period and/or that they did not have the requested SARB records.

Quantitative Analysis of Truancy and Chronic Absence

In order to get a better understanding of truancy in the State of California and the differences between students with excessive absences and students with no absences, we conducted quantitative analyses using two distinct datasets: 1) data from a subsample of school districts in California using CBEDS data (link to glossary); and 2) data from ECLS (link to glossary).

California school district subsample. Data were collected from a sample of 549 California public elementary schools, representing 36 California public school districts. These data included the variables District Free or Reduced Lunch Status, Proportion of Students Classified as an English Language Learner, Truancy, Truancy Rate, Suspensions, Suspension Rate, Expulsions, Expulsion Rate, and the Academic Performance Index (API) of each school. Table 2 demonstrates the representativeness of our subsample of “target” California school districts.

Table 2: Demographic characteristics of California Subsample

  • 549 public elementary schools
  • 36 public shcool districts
  • Representative sample (data compared to state demographics)
  Percent of Student Population
Student Characteristics Quantitative Sample Statewide Data
Latino 55% 53%
White 26% 26%
Asian 7% 9%
African-American 5% 6%
Multiracial 3% 2%
Free & Reduced Price Lunch Participation 58% 58%
English Language Learners 24% 22%
Truancy Rate 26% 29%

*Percentages have been rounded off

In order to evaluate the relationship between API and truancy, a Pearson-r¬ correlation was conducted to determine the magnitude of this relationship. Due to the negative effect of poverty on academic achievement (Lacour & Tissington, 2011), Free and Reduced Lunch Status was included in the analysis as a control variable to determine whether poverty mediated any effects of truancy on API in the sample. Furthermore, an Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was also conducted to determine whether a difference exists within API scores based upon school level truancy rates. Similar to the Pearson-r correlation previously conducted, Free and Reduced Lunch Status was included as a covariate in the analysis.

ECLS. A nation-wide data set (N = 6,981) was used for further analysis of truancy and chronic absence (Tourangeau, Nord, Le, Sorongon, & Najarian, 2009). Analysis of this data set explored the relationship between attendance and test scores. Analysis of the ECLS data set was limited to only 8th grade truancy and academics.

A Pearson-r¬ correlation was conducted to determine the magnitude of the relationship between truancy and math and reading tests. Again, poverty level was included as a controlling variable within the correlation. Due to the inclusion of student-level absence data to the ECLS data set, it was possible to determine whether students with excessive absences had lower math and reading test scores than students with no absences. To evaluate this question, a Multiple Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) was conducted to determine whether differences exist between students with excessive absences and students with no absences after including poverty as a covariate.

School District Revenue Calculations

To explore the revenues school districts forgo due to student absences, we examined enrollment, ADA and revenue limit data for the 2010-2011 school year publicly available in the PPIC School Finance Model.240PPIC School Finance Model, 2013. The PPIC School Finance Model includes data on school district demographics and revenues for all 1,663 local education agencies in California. However, we focused solely on the 962 public school districts in California for this report, excluding charter schools and county offices of education from our analysis. For our calculations we subtracted ADA from enrollment for each school district, and then multiplied that figure by each district’s base revenue limit amount in order to estimate a total loss of general purpose funds by district. For Basic Aid districts, which do not lose state dollars due to absences, we included a zero for their total loss amount. The figures on the total losses were divided by the total enrollment in each district to determine the per pupil losses by district. Data by districts was also collapsed by county in order to show the same figures for all 58 counties in California.

School Innovations & Achievement (SI & A) Records

School Innovations & Achievement is a for-profit company that contracts with school districts to provide support for their attendance efforts under a program called “Attention 2 Achievement” or A2A. According to information provided by SI & A, the company tracked 458,999 elementary students in their database in the 2012-2013 school year. These students represent all of their clients for the past six years and 7.6% of the 3,318,758 elementary (k-6) students reported on the CDE website for 2012-2013.

The percentages provided to us by A2A represent students who were first year A2A districts. First year A2A students were used as the population of interest, rather than all elementary school students in the sample, because they have only been in a school with the A2A intervention for a year, and therefore, according to A2A, are more representative of students across the state. 122,297 elementary school students used A2A for the first time in 2012-2013 or 3% of the total California elementary school population (need to check these last figures to confirm they are k-6). The percentages generated from this sample population are used to project attendance figures for the total population of California elementary school students.

Table 3: Demographic characteristics of California Subsample

  • 302 public elementary schools
  • 18 public shcool districts
  • Representative sample (data compared to state demographics)
  Percent of Student Population
Student Characteristics SI&A Statewide Data
Latino 51% 53%
White 32% 26%
Asian 10% 9%
African-American 6% 6%
Multiracial % 2%
Free & Reduced Price Lunch Participation % 58%
English Language Learners % 22%
Truancy Rate 34% 29%

NOTE: SI & A does not currently track students based on multiracial, free & reduced lunch, or English learner.

Appendix C: Relevant Truancy Statutes

California Education Code § 48260. Definition; legislative intent; valid excuse

(a) A pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature that school districts shall not change the method of attendance accounting provided for in existing law and shall not be required to employ period-by-period attendance accounting.

(c) For purposes of this article, a valid excuse includes, but is not limited to, the reasons for which a pupil shall be excused from school pursuant to Sections 48205 and 48225.5 and may include other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil's circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse.

California Education Code § 48260.5. Notice to parent or guardian; contents

Upon a pupil's initial classification as a truant, the school district shall notify the pupil's parent or guardian using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call:

(a) That the pupil is truant.

(b) That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.

(c) That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27.

(d) That alternative educational programs are available in the district.

(e) That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil's truancy.

(f) That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.

(g) That the pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the pupil's driving privilege pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code.

(h) That it is recommended that the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes with the pupil for one day.

California Education Code § 48260.6. Counties not having school attendance review board; notice to district attorney or probate officer participating in truancy mediation program; notice to parents or guardians; meeting to discuss consequences of failure to compel attendance

(a) In any county which has not established a county school attendance review board pursuant to Section 48321, the school district may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, of the following if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in subdivision (d):

  1. The name of each pupil who has been classified as a truant.
  2. The name and address of the parent or guardian of each pupil who has been classified as a truant.

(b) The school district may also notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, as to whether the pupil continues to be classified as a truant after the parents have been notified pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 48260.5.

(c) In any county which has not established a county school attendance review board, the district attorney or the probation officer of the county in which the school district is located may notify the parents or guardians of every truant, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, that they may be subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27 for failure to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.

(d) If the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, are notified by a school district that a child continues to be classified as a truant after the parents or guardians have been notified pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 48260.5, the district attorney or the probation officer in any county which has not established a county school attendance review board may request the parents or guardians and the child to attend a meeting in the district attorney's office or at the probation department pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to discuss the possible legal consequences of the child's truancy. Notice of the meeting shall be given pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

California Education Code § 48261. Subsequent report of truancy

Any pupil who has once been reported as a truant and who is again absent from school without valid excuse one or more days, or tardy on one or more days, shall again be reported as a truant to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the district.

California Education Code § 48262. Habitual truant; conscientious effort

Any pupil is deemed an habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either of the reports required by Section 48260 or Section 48261. For purposes of this section, a conscientious effort means attempting to communicate with the parents of the pupil at least once using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call.

California Education Code § 48263. Referral to attendance review board or probation office; notice to district attorney or probation officer participating in truancy mediation program

If any minor pupil in any district of a county is an habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, as defined in this article, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school, the pupil may be referred to a school attendance review board or to the probation department for services if the probation department has elected to receive these referrals. The supervisor of attendance, or any other persons the governing board of the school district or county may designate, making the referral shall notify the minor and parents or guardians of the minor, in writing, of the name and address of the board or probation department to which the matter has been referred and of the reason for the referral. The notice shall indicate that the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil will be required, along with the referring person, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.

If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services can resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, then the board or probation officer shall direct the pupil or the pupil's parents or guardians, or both, to make use of those community services. The school attendance review board or probation officer may require, at any time that it determines proper, the pupil or parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, to furnish satisfactory evidence of participation in the available community services.

If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil or if the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided, the school attendance review board may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in that section. If the district attorney or the probation office has not elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48263.5, the school attendance review board or probation officer may direct the county superintendent of schools to, and, thereupon, the county superintendent of schools shall, request a petition on behalf of the pupil in the juvenile court of the county. Upon presentation of a petition on behalf of a pupil, the juvenile court of the county shall hear all evidence relating to the petition. The school attendance review board or the probation officer shall submit to the juvenile court documentation of efforts to secure attendance as well as its recommendations on what action the juvenile court shall take in order to bring about a proper disposition of the case.

In any county which has not established a school attendance review board, if the school district determines that available community resources cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, or if the pupil or the pupil's parents or guardians, or both, have failed to respond to the directives of the school district or the services provided, the school district, pursuant to Section 48260.6, may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48260.6.

California Education Code § 48263.5. Attendance review board or probation officer; notice to DA or probation officer participating in truancy mediation program; notice to parents or guardians; meeting to discuss consequences of failure to compel attendance

(a) In any county which has established a county school attendance review board pursuant to Section 48321, the school attendance review board may notify the DA or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may notify the DA, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, of the following if the DA or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in subdivision (b):

  1. The name of each pupil who has been classified as a truant and concerning whom the school attendance review board or the probation officer has determined:
    1. That available community services cannot resolve the truancy or insubordination problem.
    2. That the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided.
  2. The name and address of the parent or guardian of each pupil described in paragraph (1).

(b) Upon receipt of notification provided pursuant to subdivision (a), the DA or the probation officer may notify the parents or guardians of each pupil concerning whom notification has been received, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, that they may be subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27 for failure to compel the attendance of the pupil at school. The DA or the probation officer may also request the parents or guardians and the child to attend a meeting in the DA's office or at the probation department pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to discuss the possible legal consequences of the child's truancy. Notice of the meeting shall be given pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

California Education Code § 48261. Subsequent report of truancy

Any pupil who has once been reported as a truant and who is again absent from school without valid excuse one or more days, or tardy on one or more days, shall again be reported as a truant to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the district.

California Education Code § 48262. Habitual truant; conscientious effort

Any pupil is deemed an habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either of the reports required by Section 48260 or Section 48261. For purposes of this section, a conscientious effort means attempting to communicate with the parents of the pupil at least once using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include electronic mail or a telephone call.

California Education Code § 48263. Referral to attendance review board or probation office; notice to district attorney or probation officer participating in truancy mediation program

If any minor pupil in any district of a county is an habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, as defined in this article, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school, the pupil may be referred to a school attendance review board or to the probation department for services if the probation department has elected to receive these referrals. The supervisor of attendance, or any other persons the governing board of the school district or county may designate, making the referral shall notify the minor and parents or guardians of the minor, in writing, of the name and address of the board or probation department to which the matter has been referred and of the reason for the referral. The notice shall indicate that the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil will be required, along with the referring person, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.

If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services can resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, then the board or probation officer shall direct the pupil or the pupil's parents or guardians, or both, to make use of those community services. The school attendance review board or probation officer may require, at any time that it determines proper, the pupil or parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, to furnish satisfactory evidence of participation in the available community services.

If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil or if the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided, the school attendance review board may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in that section. If the district attorney or the probation office has not elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48263.5, the school attendance review board or probation officer may direct the county superintendent of schools to, and, thereupon, the county superintendent of schools shall, request a petition on behalf of the pupil in the juvenile court of the county. Upon presentation of a petition on behalf of a pupil, the juvenile court of the county shall hear all evidence relating to the petition. The school attendance review board or the probation officer shall submit to the juvenile court documentation of efforts to secure attendance as well as its recommendations on what action the juvenile court shall take in order to bring about a proper disposition of the case.

In any county which has not established a school attendance review board, if the school district determines that available community resources cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, or if the pupil or the pupil's parents or guardians, or both, have failed to respond to the directives of the school district or the services provided, the school district, pursuant to Section 48260.6, may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48260.6.

California Education Code § 48263.5. Attendance review board or probation officer; notice to district attorney or probation officer participating in truancy mediation program; notice to parents or guardians; meeting to discuss consequences of failure to compel attendance

(a) In any county which has established a county school attendance review board pursuant to Section 48321, the school attendance review board may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may notify the district attorney, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, of the following if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in subdivision (b):

  1. The name of each pupil who has been classified as a truant and concerning whom the school attendance review board or the probation officer has determined:
    1. That available community services cannot resolve the truancy or insubordination problem.
    2. That the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided.
  2. The name and address of the parent or guardian of each pupil described in paragraph (1).

(b) Upon receipt of notification provided pursuant to subdivision (a), the district attorney or the probation officer may notify the parents or guardians of each pupil concerning whom notification has been received, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, that they may be subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27 for failure to compel the attendance of the pupil at school. The district attorney or the probation officer may also request the parents or guardians and the child to attend a meeting in the district attorney's office or at the probation department pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to discuss the possible legal consequences of the child's truancy. Notice of the meeting shall be given pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

California Education Code § 48263.6. Chronic truant

Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 10 percent or more of the schooldays in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with Sections 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, and 48291.

California Education Code § 48264.5. First through fourth truancies; penalties

A minor who is classified as a truant pursuant to Section 48260 or 48261 may be required to attend makeup classes conducted on one day of a weekend pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 37223 and is subject to the following:

(a) The first time a truancy report is issued, the pupil and, as appropriate, the parent or legal guardian, may be requested to attend a meeting with a school counselor or other school designee to discuss the root causes of the attendance issue and develop a joint plan to improve the pupil's attendance.

(b) The second time a truancy report is issued within the same school year, the pupil may be given a written warning by a peace officer as specified in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code. A record of the written warning may be kept at the school for not less than two years or until the pupil graduates or transfers from that school. If the pupil transfers from that school, the record may be forwarded to the school receiving the pupil's school records. A record of the written warning may be maintained by the law enforcement agency in accordance with that law enforcement agency's policies and procedures. The pupil may also be assigned by the school to an afterschool or weekend study program located within the same county as the pupil's school. If the pupil fails to successfully complete the assigned study program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (c).

(c) The third time a truancy report is issued within the same school year, the pupil shall be classified as a habitual truant, as defined in Section 48262, and may be referred to, and required to attend, an attendance review board or a truancy mediation program pursuant to Section 48263 or pursuant to Section 601.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the school district does not have a truancy mediation program, the pupil may be required to attend a comparable program deemed acceptable by the school district's attendance supervisor. If the pupil does not successfully complete the truancy mediation program or other similar program, the pupil shall be subject to subdivision (d).

(d) The fourth time a truancy is issued within the same school year, the pupil may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court that may adjudge the pupil to be a ward of the court pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. If the pupil is adjudged a ward of the court, the pupil shall be required to do one or more of the following:

  1. Performance at court-approved community services sponsored by either a public or private nonprofit agency for not less than 20 hours but not more than 40 hours over a period not to exceed 90 days, during a time other than the pupil's hours of school attendance or employment. The probation officer shall report to the court the failure of the pupil to comply with this paragraph.
  2. Payment of a fine by the pupil of not more than fifty dollars ($50) for which a parent or legal guardian of the pupil may be jointly liable. The fine described in this paragraph shall not be subject to the assessments of Section 1464 of the Penal Code or any other applicable section.
  3. Attendance of a court-approved truancy prevention program.
  4. Suspension or revocation of driving privileges pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code. This subdivision shall apply only to a pupil who has attended a school attendance review board program, a program operated by a probation department acting as a school attendance review board, or a truancy mediation program pursuant to subdivision (c).

California Education Code § 48293. Penalties against parents

(a) Any parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of any pupil who fails to comply with this chapter, unless excused or exempted therefrom, is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished as follows:

  1. Upon a first conviction, by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).
  2. Upon a second conviction, by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
  3. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, if the person has willfully refused to comply with this section, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). In lieu of imposing the fines prescribed in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), the court may order the person to be placed in a parent education and counseling program.

(b) A judgment that a person convicted of an infraction be punished as prescribed in subdivision (a) may also provide for the payment of the fine within a specified time or in specified installments, or for participation in the program. A judgment granting a defendant time to pay the fine or prescribing the days of attendance in a program shall order that if the defendant fails to pay the fine, or any installment thereof, on the date that it is due, or fails to attend a program on a prescribed date, he or she shall appear in court on that date for further proceedings. Willful violation of the order is punishable as contempt.

(c) The court may also order that the person convicted of the violation of subdivision (a) immediately enroll or reenroll the pupil in the appropriate school or educational program and provide proof of enrollment to the court. Willful violation of an order under this subdivision is punishable as civil contempt with a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). An order of contempt under this subdivision shall not include imprisonment.

California Education Code § 48321. County and local school attendance boards; creation, membership, and powers

(a)

  1. A county school attendance review board may be established in each county.
  2. The county school attendance review board, if established, shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
    1. A parent.
    2. A representative of school districts.
    3. A representative of the county probation department.
    4. A representative of the county welfare department.
    5. A representative of the county superintendent of schools.
    6. A representative of law enforcement agencies.
    7. A representative of community-based youth service centers.
    8. A representative of school guidance personnel.
    9. A representative of child welfare and attendance personnel.
    10. A representative of school or county health care personnel.
    11. A representative of school, county, or community mental health personnel.
  3. The school district representatives on the county school attendance review board shall be nominated by the governing boards of school districts and shall be appointed by the county superintendent of schools. All other persons and group representatives shall be appointed by the county board of education.
  4. If a county school attendance review board exists, the county superintendent of schools shall, at the beginning of each school year, convene a meeting of the county school attendance review board for the purpose of adopting plans to promote interagency and community cooperation and to reduce the duplication of services provided to youth who have serious school attendance and behavior problems.

(b)

  1. Local school attendance review boards may include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
    1. A parent.
    2. A representative of school districts.
    3. A representative of the county probation department.
    4. A representative of the county welfare department.
    5. A representative of the county superintendent of schools.
    6. A representative of law enforcement agencies.
    7. A representative of community-based youth service centers.
    8. A representative of school guidance personnel.
    9. A representative of child welfare and attendance personnel.
    10. A representative of school or county health care personnel.
    11. A representative of school, county, or community mental health personnel.
  2. Other persons or group representatives shall be appointed by the county board of education.

(c) The county school attendance review board may elect, pursuant to regulations adopted pursuant to Section 48324, one member as chairperson with responsibility for coordinating services of the county school attendance review board.

(d) The county school attendance review board may provide for the establishment of local school attendance review boards in any number as shall be necessary to carry out the intent of this article.

(e) In any county in which there is no county school attendance review board, a school district governing board may elect to establish a local school attendance review board, which shall operate in the same manner and have the same authority as a county school attendance review board.

(f) The county school attendance review board may provide consultant services to, and coordinate activities of, local school attendance review boards in meeting the special needs of pupils with school attendance or school behavior problems.

(g) When the county school attendance review board determines that the needs of pupils as defined in this article can best be served by a single board, the county school attendance review board may then serve as the school attendance review board for all pupils in the county, or, upon the request of any school district in the county, the county school attendance review board may serve as the school attendance review board for pupils of that district.

(h) Nothing in this article is intended to prohibit any agreement on the part of counties to provide these services on a regional basis.

California Penal Code § 270.1. Parent or guardian of chronic truant; failure to reasonably supervise and encourage school attendance deemed misdemeanor; punishment; deferred entry of judgment program; funding; punishment under other provisions; declaration of eligibility or ineligibility for program

(a) A parent or guardian of a pupil of six years of age or more who is in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, and who is subject to compulsory full-time education or compulsory continuation education, whose child is a chronic truant as defined in Section 48263.6 of the Education Code, who has failed to reasonably supervise and encourage the pupil's school attendance, and who has been offered language accessible support services to address the pupil's truancy, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. A parent or guardian guilty of a misdemeanor under this subdivision may participate in the deferred entry of judgment program defined in subdivision (b).

(b) A superior court may establish a deferred entry of judgment program that includes the components listed in paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive, to adjudicate cases involving parents or guardians of elementary school pupils who are chronic truants as defined in Section 48263.6 of the Education Code:

  1. A dedicated court calendar.
  2. Leadership by a judge of the superior court in that county.
  3. Meetings, scheduled and held periodically, with school district representatives designated by the chronic truant's school district of enrollment. Those representatives may include school psychologists, school counselors, teachers, school administrators, or other educational service providers deemed appropriate by the school district.
  4. Service referrals for parents or guardians, as appropriate to each case that may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
    1. Case management.
    2. Mental and physical health services.
    3. Parenting classes and support.
    4. Substance abuse treatment.
    5. Child care and housing.
  5. A clear statement that, in lieu of trial, the court may grant deferred entry of judgment with respect to the current crime or crimes charged if the defendant pleads guilty to each charge and waives time for the pronouncement of judgment and that, upon the defendant's compliance with the terms and conditions set forth by the court and agreed to by the defendant upon the entry of his or her plea, and upon the motion of the prosecuting attorney, the court will dismiss the charge or charges against the defendant and the same procedures specified for successful completion of a drug diversion program or a deferred entry of judgment program pursuant to Section 851.90 and the provisions of Section 1203.4 shall apply.
  6. A clear statement that failure to comply with any condition under the program may result in the prosecuting attorney or the court making a motion for entry of judgment, whereupon the court will render a finding of guilty to the charge or charges pled, enter judgment, and schedule a sentencing hearing as otherwise provided in this code.
  7. An explanation of criminal record retention and disposition resulting from participation in the deferred entry of judgment program and the defendant's rights relative to answering questions about his or her arrest and deferred entry of judgment following successful completion of the program.

(c) Funding for the deferred entry of judgment program pursuant to this section shall be derived solely from non-state sources.

(d) A parent or guardian of an elementary school pupil who is a chronic truant, as defined in Section 48263.6 of the Education Code, may not be punished for a violation of both this section and the provisions of Section 272 that involve criminal liability for parents and guardians of truant children.

(e) If any district attorney chooses to charge a defendant with a violation of subdivision (a) and the defendant is found by the prosecuting attorney to be eligible or ineligible for deferred entry of judgment, the prosecuting attorney shall file with the court a declaration in writing, or state for the record, the grounds upon which that determination is based.

  1.    http://www.edsource.org/1077.html
  2.    California Education Code section 48263.6.
  3.    California Education Code section 48262
  4.    http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/advisory_panels/truancy_mandates_school_letter.pdf.
  5.    PPIC School Finance Model, 2013.