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SENATE AMENDED
PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 2983, 3059, 3108, 3199
PRINTER'S NO. 4045
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1907
Session of
2015
INTRODUCED BY BENNINGHOFF, SAYLOR, ADOLPH, BAKER, V. BROWN,
D. COSTA, CUTLER, DeLUCA, ELLIS, EVERETT, GILLESPIE, HARHART,
A. HARRIS, PHILLIPS-HILL, KLUNK, OBERLANDER, PICKETT,
STEPHENS, THOMAS, TOOHIL, WARD, WATSON, WHITE, PEIFER,
ZIMMERMAN, MOUL AND MICCARELLI, MARCH 17, 2016
SENATOR SMUCKER, EDUCATION, IN SENATE, AS AMENDED, OCTOBER 18,
2016
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in pupils and attendance, further
providing for definitions, providing for attendance policy at
charter, regional charter and cyber charter schools, further
providing for penalties for violation of compulsory
attendance requirements, providing for procedure by school
when child habitually truant, for procedure upon filing of
citation and for penalties for violating compulsory school
attendance requirements and further providing for suspension
of operating privilege.
AMENDING THE ACT OF MARCH 10, 1949 (P.L.30, NO.14), ENTITLED "AN
ACT RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, INCLUDING CERTAIN
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE AS WELL TO PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL
SCHOOLS; AMENDING, REVISING, CONSOLIDATING AND CHANGING THE
LAWS RELATING THERETO," IN PUPILS AND ATTENDANCE, PROVIDING
FOR PURPOSE, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS, PROVIDING FOR
ATTENDANCE POLICY AT CHARTER, REGIONAL CHARTER AND CYBER
CHARTER SCHOOLS, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR EXCUSES FROM ATTENDING
SCHOOL AND FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF COMPULSORY
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS, PROVIDING FOR PROCEDURE BY SCHOOL
WHEN CHILD HABITUALLY TRUANT, FOR PROCEDURE UPON FILING OF
CITATION, FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING COMPULSORY SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND FOR STUDY OF TRUANCY PROCEDURE
AND REPEALING PROVISIONS RELATING TO SUSPENSION OF OPERATING
PRIVILEGE; IN CHARTER SCHOOLS, FURTHER PROVIDING FOR
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO CHARTER SCHOOLS AND FOR
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APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT AND OF OTHER
ACTS AND REGULATIONS; AND, IN DISRUPTIVE STUDENT PROGRAMS,
FURTHER PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1326 of the act of March 10, 1949
(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, is
amended to read:
Section 1326. Definitions.--[The term "compulsory school
age," as hereinafter used, shall mean the period of a child's
life from the time the child's parents elect to have the child
enter school, which shall be not later than at the age of eight
(8) years, until the age of seventeen (17) years. The term shall
not include any child who holds a certificate of graduation from
a regularly accredited senior high school.
The term "migratory child," wherever used in this subdivision
of this article, shall include any child domiciled temporarily
in any school district for the purpose of seasonal employment,
but not acquiring residence therein, and any child accompanying
his parent or guardian who is so domiciled.] When used in this
article, the following words and phrases shall have the
following meanings:
"Citation" shall mean a nontraffic citation or private
criminal complaint.
"Compulsory school age" shall mean the period of a child's
life between eight (8) and seventeen (17) years of age. The term
does not include a child who holds a certificate of graduation
from a regularly accredited, licensed, registered or approved
high school.
"Conviction" shall mean a conviction under section 1333.2 for
violation of the requirement for compulsory school attendance.
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"Court" shall mean a magisterial district court or a court of
common pleas.
"Department" shall mean the Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Excused absence" shall mean an absence from school which is
permitted under section 1329.
"Governing body" shall mean the board of school directors of
a school district or any other governing entity of a school.
"Habitually truant" shall mean six (6) or more school days of
unexcused absences during the current school year by a child
subject to compulsory school attendance under this article.
"Judge" shall mean a magisterial district judge or a judge of
a court of common pleas.
"Juvenile act" shall mean the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63
(relating to juvenile matters).
"Migratory child" shall mean a child domiciled temporarily in
a school district for the purpose of seasonal employment, but
not acquiring residence therein, and a child accompanying his or
her person in parental relation who is so domiciled.
"Offense" shall mean each citation filed under section 1333.1
for a violation of the requirement for compulsory school
attendance under this article regardless of the number of
unexcused absences alleged in the citation.
"Person in parental relation" shall mean a:
(1) Custodial biological or adoptive parent.
(2) Noncustodial biological or adoptive parent.
(3) Guardian of the person of a child.
(4) Person with whom a child lives and who is acting in a
parental role of a child.
This definition shall not include any county agency or person
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acting as an agent of the county agency in the jurisdiction of a
dependent child defined under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6302 (relating to
definitions). This definition shall not expand the right of a
child under any other section of this act.
"School" shall mean the educational entity in which the child
is enrolled and at which a resident of this Commonwealth may
legally fulfill the compulsory school attendance requirements of
this article.
"School attendance improvement conference" shall mean a
conference where the child's absences and reasons therefore are
examined in an effort to improve attendance, with or without
additional services, and to which the child, the child's person
in parental relation, other individuals identified by the person
in parental relation who may be a resource, appropriate school
personnel and recommended service providers shall be invited.
"School day" shall mean the length of time that a child
subject to compulsory school attendance is expected to be
receiving instruction during a calendar day, as determined by
the governing body.
"School year" shall have the same meaning as "school term" as
defined in section 102, as applicable to a school district, and
as further defined in section 1327(b) for a day school which is
operated by a bona fide church or other religious body, section
1327.1(c) for a day school or boarding school accredited by an
accrediting association which is approved by the State Board of
Education, section 1327.1(d) for a home education program, and
sections 1501 and 1504 for a public kindergarten, elementary or
secondary school or a school district.
"Truant" shall mean three (3) or more school days of
unexcused absences during the current school year by a child
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subject to compulsory school attendance under this article.
"Unexcused absence" shall mean an absence from school which
is not permitted by the provisions of section 1329 and for which
an approved explanation has not been submitted within the time
period and in the manner prescribed by the governing body. An
out-of-school suspension may not be considered an unexcused
absence.
Section 2. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 1327.2. Attendance Policy at Charter, Regional
Charter and Cyber Charter Schools.--(a) Each charter, regional
charter and cyber charter school shall establish an attendance
policy designed to determine when a child who is enrolled in a
charter, regional charter or cyber charter school has an
unexcused absence, which may differ from the policy of the
school district in which the child resides. The policy must
conform to the provisions of this act relating to compulsory
attendance. Each cyber charter school may develop guidelines
setting forth alternative methods of calculating unexcused
absences for the purposes of determining whether a child
enrolled in a cyber charter school has an unexcused absence,
subject to approval by the department.
(b) Notwithstanding section 1333.2(a), in the case of a
child enrolled in a cyber charter school the venue for the
filing of a citation under section 1333.1 shall be based upon
the residence of the child. A cyber charter school may
participate in a proceeding under sections 1333.1, 1333.2 and
1333.3 in person, by phone conferencing, by video conferencing
or by any other electronic means.
(c) Charter, regional charter and cyber charter schools shall
report unexcused absences directly to the department annually
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through the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS).
Section 2.1. Section 1333 of the act, amended November 17,
1995 (1st Sp.Sess. P.L.1110, No.29), is amended to read:
Section 1333. [Penalties for Violation of Compulsory
Attendance Requirements.--(a) (1) Every parent, guardian, or
person in parental relation, having control or charge of any
child or children of compulsory school age, who shall fail to
comply with the provisions of this act regarding compulsory
attendance, shall on summary conviction thereof, be sentenced to
pay a fine, for the benefit of the school district in which such
offending person resides, not exceeding three hundred dollars
($300) and to pay court costs or be sentenced to complete a
parenting education program offered and operated by a local
school district, medical institution or other community
resources, and, in default of the payment of such fine and costs
or completion of the parenting program by the person so
offending, shall be sentenced to the county jail for a period
not exceeding five (5) days. Any person sentenced to pay any
such fine may appeal to the court of common pleas of the proper
county, upon entering into a recognizance, with one or more
proper sureties, in double the amount of penalty and costs.
Before any proceedings are instituted against any parent,
guardian, or person in parental relation, for failure to comply
with the provisions of this act, the district superintendent,
attendance officer, or secretary of the board of school
directors, shall give the offending person three (3) days'
written notice of such violation. If, after such notice has been
given, the provisions of this act regarding compulsory
attendance are again violated by the persons so notified, at any
time during the term of compulsory attendance, such person, so
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again offending, shall be liable under the provisions of this
section without further notice.
(2) The child and every parent, guardian or person in
parental relation must appear at a hearing established by the
district justice. If the parent, guardian or person in parental
relation charged with a summary offense under this subsection
shows that he or she took every reasonable step to insure
attendance of the child at school, he or she shall not be
convicted of the summary offense.
(3) Upon a summary conviction, the district justice may
suspend, in whole or in part, a sentence in which a parent,
guardian or person in parental relation is summoned to pay as
required under this section: Provided, That the child no longer
is habitually truant from school without justification.
(4) In lieu of or in addition to any other sentence imposed
under this section, the district justice may order the parent,
guardian or person in parental relation to perform community
service in the school district in which the offending child
resides for a period not to exceed six (6) months.
(b) (1) If the parent, guardian or person in parental
relation is not convicted of a summary offense because he or she
took every reasonable step to insure attendance of the child at
school, a child of compulsory school age who has attained the
age of thirteen (13) years and fails to comply with the
provisions of this act regarding compulsory attendance or who is
habitually truant from school without justification commits a
summary offense and except as provided in clause (4) shall, upon
conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding three
hundred dollars ($300) for each offense for the benefit of the
school district in which such offending child resides or shall
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be assigned to an adjudication alternative program pursuant to
42 Pa.C.S. § 1520 (relating to adjudication alternative
program).
(2) For any child who has attained the age of thirteen (13)
years who fails to pay the fine under clause (1) or to comply
with the adjudication alternative program, the district justice
may allege the child to be dependent under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6303(a)
(1) (relating to scope of chapter). The failure by the child to
pay a fine or comply with the adjudication alternative program
shall not constitute a delinquent act under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63
(relating to juvenile matters).
(3) Upon a summary conviction or assignment to an
adjudication alternative program, the district justice may
suspend, in whole or in part, a sentence or an adjudication
alternative program in which a child who has attained the age of
thirteen (13) years must pay or comply with the adjudication
alternative program: Provided, That the child no longer is
habitually truant from school without justification.
(4) Any child who has not attained the age of thirteen (13)
years who fails to comply with the compulsory attendance
provisions of this act and is habitually truant shall be
referred by the school district for services or possible
disposition as a dependent child as defined under 42 Pa.C.S. §
6302 (relating to definitions). Any child who has attained the
age of thirteen (13) years who fails to comply with the
compulsory attendance provisions of this act and is habitually
truant may, in lieu of a prosecution under clause (1), be
referred by the school district for services or possible
disposition as a dependent child as defined under 42 Pa.C.S. §
6302.
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(5) The following words, when used in this subsection, shall
have the following meaning, except where the context clearly
indicates or requires a different meaning:
"Community resources" shall mean those agencies and services
for children and youth provided by the juvenile court, the
county, the Department of Health, the Department of Public
Welfare and other public or private institutions.
"District justice" shall mean such court as the court of
common pleas shall direct in counties not having district
justices.
"Habitually truant" shall mean absence for more than three
(3) school days or their equivalent following the first notice
of truancy given under section 1354. A person may be habitually
truant after such notice.
"Offense" shall mean each citation which goes before a
district justice or court of common pleas.
"Person in parental relation" shall not include any county
agency or person acting as an agent of the county agency in the
jurisdiction of a dependent child defined under 42 Pa.C.S. §
6302 (relating to definitions).
(c) If a child is convicted for a violation of this section,
the court, including a court not of record, shall send to the
Department of Transportation a certified record of the
conviction or other disposition on a form prescribed by the
department.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to a
parent, guardian or person in parental relation whose child or
children are in a home education program under section 1327.1.]
Procedure When Child is Truant.--(a) (1) When a child is
truant the school shall provide written notice to the person in
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parental relation who resides in the same household as the child
of the child's violation of compulsory school attendance within
ten (10) school days of the child's third unexcused absence.
(2) The notice required under paragraph (1):
(i) Shall include a description of the consequences that
will follow if the child becomes habitually truant.
(ii) Shall be in a form and use language that would be
considered reasonably understandable by the person in parental
relation.
(iii) May include the offer of a school attendance
improvement conference.
(3) If the individual receiving notification under paragraph
(1) is not the biological or adoptive parent, written notice
shall also be provided to the child's biological or adoptive
parents if their mailing addresses are on file with the school
and they are not precluded to receive the information by a court
order.
(b) (1) If unexcused absences continue after the school has
issued the notice required under subsection (a), the school
shall offer, by advance written notice, a school attendance
improvement conference to the child and person in parental
relation unless such a conference was previously held following
the notice provided under subsection (a)(1). This subsection
shall not be construed to place a legal obligation on the child
or the person in parental relation to attend the conference. The
conference may occur if the person in parental relation declines
to participate.
(2) The outcome of the conference shall be documented in a
written school attendance improvement plan. The department shall
develop a form to be used for this purpose, and each school
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shall use a form substantially similar to the form developed by
the department.
(3) The school may not take further legal action to address
unexcused absences by the child until after the date for the
scheduled school attendance improvement conference has passed.
Section 3. The act is amended by adding sections to read:
Section 1333.1. Procedure By School When Child Habitually
Truant.--(a) When a child is habitually truant and under
fifteen (15) years of age at the time of referral, the school:
(1) Shall refer the child to either of the following:
(i) A school-based or community-based attendance improvement
program.
(ii) The county children and youth agency for services or
for possible disposition as a dependent child under the
provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters).
(2) May file a citation in the office of the appropriate
magisterial district judge against the person in parental
relation who resides in the same household as the child.
(b) When a child is habitually truant and fifteen (15) years
of age or older at the time of referral, the school shall
either:
(1) Refer the child to a school-based or community-based
attendance improvement program or service.
(2) File a citation in the office of the appropriate
magisterial district judge against the child or the person in
parental relation who resides in the same household as the
child.
(c) If a child who is fifteen (15) years of age or older
continues to incur additional unexcused absences after being
referred to a school-based or community-based attendance
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improvement program or refuses to participate in a school-based
or community-based attendance improvement program as recommended
through the school attendance improvement conference, the school
may refer the child to the county children and youth agency for
possible disposition as a dependent child under the provisions
of 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63.
(d) When referring a habitually truant child to the county
children and youth agency or filing a citation with the
magisterial district court because a child has been habitually
truant, the school shall provide verification that a school
attendance improvement conference was offered.
Section 1333.2. Procedure Upon Filing of Citation.--(a) The
venue for the filing of a citation under section 1333.1 shall be
based on the location of the school in which the child is
enrolled.
(b) When a citation is filed against a child or a person in
parental relation who resides in the same household as the child
under the provisions of section 1333.1, the magisterial district
judge shall provide the following notices:
(1) Written notice of the hearing with respect to the
citation to the school, the person in parental relation, the
child and the county children and youth agency.
(2) Notice to the child or person in parental relation who
resides in the same household as the child of the availability
of a preconviction diversionary program authorized under 42
Pa.C.S. § 1520 (relating to adjudication alternative program).
(c) At the hearing with respect to the citation, the burden
is upon the school to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the
child was habitually truant in noncompliance with the compulsory
school attendance requirements of this article.
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(d) I f the citation is filed against the person in parental
relation who resides in the same household as the child, it is a
defense if the person in parental relation can prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that every reasonable step to
ensure attendance of the child at school was taken.
(e) Before entering a sentence, the judge shall permit the
school, person in parental relation or child to present relevant
information that will assist the judge in making an informed
decision regarding the appropriate sentence. The judge may
consider the child's school attendance after the citation was
filed and while the proceeding was pending for the purpose of
imposing a sentence.
Section 1333.3. Penalties for Violating Compulsory School
Attendance Requirements.--(a) A person convicted of a summary
offense under section 1333.2 may be sentenced:
(1) To pay a fine for the benefit of the school in an amount
not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) for each citation,
together with court costs.
(2) To perform community service.
(3) To complete an appropriate course or program designed to
improve school attendance, which has been approved by the
president judge of the judicial district.
(b) The court may suspend the sentence of a person convicted
under the provisions of sections 1333, 1333.1 and 1333.2 and may
remit or waive fines and costs if the child attends school in
accordance with a plan devised by the court.
(c) A person convicted of a summary offense under this
section by a magisterial district judge shall have a right to
appeal de novo to a court of common pleas of the proper county
within thirty (30) days after conviction. Thereafter, the appeal
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shall proceed as any other appeal of a summary conviction.
(d) No citation shall be filed against a child or a person
in parental relation who resides in the same household as the
child for a subsequent violation of compulsory school attendance
if any of the following circumstances apply:
(1) A proceeding under sections 1333.1 and 1333.2 is already
pending against the child or the person in parental relation who
resides in the same household as the child until the judgment
has been entered in such proceeding unless a warrant has been
issued for failure of that parent or child to appear before the
court and the warrant has not yet been served.
(2) A referral for services has been made to the county's
children and youth agency under section 1333.1 and the agency
has not closed the case.
(3) A petition has been filed alleging the child is
dependent under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters)
due to being habitually truant and the case remains under the
jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
(e) Upon a second or subsequent conviction of a child or a
person in parental relation who resides in the same household as
the child for a violation of the compulsory school attendance
requirements of this article in a court within this Commonwealth
within a period of three (3) years, the court shall refer the
child for services or possible disposition as a dependent child
under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63.
(f) Upon the willful failure of a person to satisfy a fine
or costs imposed under this section and a finding by the court
that the person has the ability to pay the financial obligation
imposed, the willful failure to comply with a payment plan or
the willful failure to comply with any other part of the
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sentence imposed by the court under subsection (a), the
following shall apply:
(1) The court may:
(i) In the case of a person in parental relation who resides
in the same household as the child, impose a period of
incarceration not to exceed five (5) days.
(ii) Impose community service.
(2) In the case of a child, the failure shall not be
considered a delinquent act, provided that the president judge
of the judicial district may adopt a local policy pursuant to 42
Pa.C.S. § 6304 (relating to powers and duties of probation
officers) and the Pennsylvania Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure
to provide that a juvenile probation officer may receive
allegations that the child is dependent for the purpose of
considering the commencement of proceedings under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch.
63.
(g) (1) If a child is convicted of a violation of the
compulsory school attendance requirements of this article, the
court may send the Department of Transportation a certified
record of the conviction on a form prescribed by the department
only if the child fails to comply with a lawful sentence entered
for the violation and is not subject to an exception to
compulsory attendance under section 1330.
(2) The Department of Transportation shall suspend for
ninety (90) days the operating privilege of a child upon
receiving a certified record that the child was convicted of a
summary offense under the compulsory school attendance
requirements of this article. If the Department of
Transportation receives a certified record of a second or
subsequent conviction of a child pursuant to this section, the
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department shall suspend the child's operating privilege for six
(6) months.
(3) A child whose record is received by the Department of
Transportation under this section and who does not have a
driver's license shall be ineligible to apply for a driver's
license under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1505 (relating to learners' permits)
and 1507 (relating to application for driver's license or
learner's permit by minor) for the time period specified in
paragraph (2). If the child is under sixteen (16) years of age
when convicted, suspension of operating privileges shall
commence in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 1541 (relating to
period of disqualification, revocation or suspension of
operating privilege) for the time specified in paragraph (2).
(4) A child whose driving privileges have been suspended or
whose eligibility for a permit or license is delayed under this
section may have that license or eligibility restored by
providing the Department of Transportation with a form developed
by the Department of Transportation containing the following
information in the form of a certified record from the child's
school that either of the following applies:
(i) The child:
(A) Has attended school for a period of at least two (2)
months after the first conviction or four (4) months after the
second conviction without an unexcused absence or unexcused
tardy.
(B) Has no school disciplinary actions pending or has not
served a disciplinary sanction during the period of the
suspension or delay.
(C) Is attending and passing all classes.
(ii) The child is subject to an exception to compulsory
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attendance under section 1330.
(5) An insurer may not increase premiums, impose a surcharge
or rate penalty, make a driver record point assignment for
automobile insurance or cancel or refuse to renew an automobile
insurance policy on account of a suspension under this section.
(6) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a child who is
convicted of a violation of the compulsory school attendance
requirements of this article from being eligible for an
occupational limited license under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1553 (relating
to occupational limited license).
(h) (1) Upon application from a child who has no more than
two (2) convictions of a summary offense under section 1333.2,
the court shall grant an expungement of the convictions from the
child's record if all of the following apply:
(i) The child has earned a high school diploma, a
Commonwealth secondary school diploma or another Department of
Education-approved equivalent, or is subject to an exception to
compulsory attendance under section 1330.
(ii) The child has satisfied any sentence imposed by the
court with respect to the conviction, including payment of fines
and costs.
(2) If the court grants an expungement under paragraph (1),
the court shall order the Department of Transportation to
expunge all administrative records related to the convictions.
Section 4. Section 1338.1 of the act, added November 17,
1995 (1st Sp.Sess. P.L.1110, No.29), is repealed:
[Section 1338.1. Suspension of Operating Privilege.--(a)
The Department of Transportation shall suspend for 90 days the
operating privilege of any child upon receiving a certified
record that the child was convicted of violating section 1333.
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If the department receives a second or subsequent conviction for
a child's violation of section 1333, the department shall
suspend the child's operating privilege for six months.
(b) Any child whose record is received by the department
under section 1333(c) and who does not have a driver's license
shall be ineligible to apply for a driver's license under 75
Pa.C.S. §§ 1505 (relating to learners' permits) and 1507
(relating to application for driver's license or learner's
permit by minor) for the time periods specified in subsection
(a). If the child is under sixteen (16) years of age when
convicted, suspension of operating privileges shall commence in
accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 1541 (relating to period of
revocation or suspension of operating privilege) for the time
specified in subsection (a).
(c) An insurer may not increase premiums, impose any
surcharge or rate penalty or make any driver record point
assignment for automobile insurance, nor shall an insurer cancel
or refuse to renew an automobile insurance policy on account of
a suspension under this section.]
Section 5. The amendment or addition of sections 1326,
1327.2, 1333, 1333.1, 1333.2, 1333.3 and 1338.1 of the act shall
apply to school years beginning with the 2017-2018 school year
and each school year thereafter.
Section 6. This act shall take effect immediately.
SECTION 1. THE ACT OF MARCH 10, 1949 (P.L.30, NO.14), KNOWN
AS THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CODE OF 1949, IS AMENDED BY ADDING A
SECTION AFTER ARTICLE XIII, SUBDIVISION (B) HEADING TO READ:
SECTION 1325. PURPOSE.--THE PURPOSE OF THIS SUBDIVISION IS
TO IMPROVE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND DETER TRUANCY THROUGH A
COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO CONSISTENTLY IDENTIFY AND ADDRESS
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ATTENDANCE ISSUES AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE WITH CREDIBLE
INTERVENTION TECHNIQUES IN ORDER TO:
(1) PRESERVE THE UNITY OF THE FAMILY WHENEVER POSSIBLE AS
THE UNDERLYING ISSUES OF TRUANCY ARE ADDRESSED.
(2) AVOID THE LOSS OF HOUSING, THE POSSIBLE ENTRY OF A CHILD
TO FOSTER CARE AND OTHER UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF DISRUPTION
OF AN INTACT FAMILY UNIT.
(3) CONFINE A PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION TO A CHILD WHO IS
HABITUALLY TRUANT ONLY AS A LAST RESORT AND FOR A MINIMUM AMOUNT
OF TIME.
SECTION 2. SECTION 1326 OF THE ACT IS AMENDED TO READ:
SECTION 1326. DEFINITIONS.--[THE TERM "COMPULSORY SCHOOL
AGE," AS HEREINAFTER USED, SHALL MEAN THE PERIOD OF A CHILD'S
LIFE FROM THE TIME THE CHILD'S PARENTS ELECT TO HAVE THE CHILD
ENTER SCHOOL, WHICH SHALL BE NOT LATER THAN AT THE AGE OF EIGHT
(8) YEARS, UNTIL THE AGE OF SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS. THE TERM SHALL
NOT INCLUDE ANY CHILD WHO HOLDS A CERTIFICATE OF GRADUATION FROM
A REGULARLY ACCREDITED SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL.
THE TERM "MIGRATORY CHILD," WHEREVER USED IN THIS SUBDIVISION
OF THIS ARTICLE, SHALL INCLUDE ANY CHILD DOMICILED TEMPORARILY
IN ANY SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT,
BUT NOT ACQUIRING RESIDENCE THEREIN, AND ANY CHILD ACCOMPANYING
HIS PARENT OR GUARDIAN WHO IS SO DOMICILED.] WHEN USED IN THIS
ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING WORDS AND PHRASES SHALL HAVE THE
FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
"CITATION" SHALL MEAN A NONTRAFFIC CITATION OR PRIVATE
CRIMINAL COMPLAINT.
"COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE" SHALL MEAN THE PERIOD OF A CHILD'S
LIFE FROM THE TIME THE CHILD'S PARENTS ELECT TO HAVE THE CHILD
ENTER SCHOOL AND WHICH SHALL BE NO LATER THAN EIGHT (8) YEARS OF
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AGE UNTIL THE CHILD REACHES SEVENTEEN (17) YEARS OF AGE. THE
TERM DOES NOT INCLUDE A CHILD WHO HOLDS A CERTIFICATE OF
GRADUATION FROM A REGULARLY ACCREDITED, LICENSED, REGISTERED OR
APPROVED HIGH SCHOOL.
"CONVICTION" SHALL MEAN A CONVICTION UNDER SECTION 1333.2 FOR
VIOLATION OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.
"COURT" SHALL MEAN A MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT COURT, THE
PHILADELPHIA MUNICIPAL COURT OR A COURT OF COMMON PLEAS.
"DEPARTMENT" SHALL MEAN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF THE
COMMONWEALTH.
"EDUCATIONAL ENTITY" SHALL MEAN A PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT,
NONPUBLIC SCHOOL OR AREA VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL SCHOOL.
"EXCUSED ABSENCE" SHALL MEAN AN ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL WHICH IS
PERMITTED UNDER SECTION 1329.
"GOVERNING BODY" SHALL MEAN THE BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS OF
A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR ANY OTHER GOVERNING ENTITY OF A SCHOOL.
"HABITUALLY TRUANT" SHALL MEAN SIX (6) OR MORE SCHOOL DAYS OF
UNEXCUSED ABSENCES DURING THE CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR BY A CHILD
SUBJECT TO COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
"JUDGE" SHALL MEAN A MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE, A MUNICIPAL
COURT JUDGE OR A JUDGE OF A COURT OF COMMON PLEAS.
"JUVENILE ACT" SHALL MEAN THE PROVISIONS OF 42 PA.C.S. CH. 63
(RELATING TO JUVENILE MATTERS).
"MIGRATORY CHILD" SHALL MEAN A CHILD DOMICILED TEMPORARILY IN
A SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT, BUT
NOT ACQUIRING RESIDENCE THEREIN, AND A CHILD ACCOMPANYING HIS OR
HER PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION WHO IS SO DOMICILED.
"OFFENSE" SHALL MEAN EACH CITATION FILED UNDER SECTION 1333.1
FOR A VIOLATION OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR COMPULSORY SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE UNDER THIS ARTICLE REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF
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UNEXCUSED ABSENCES ALLEGED IN THE CITATION.
"PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION" SHALL MEAN A:
(1) CUSTODIAL BIOLOGICAL OR ADOPTIVE PARENT.
(2) NONCUSTODIAL BIOLOGICAL OR ADOPTIVE PARENT.
(3) GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON OF A CHILD.
(4) PERSON WITH WHOM A CHILD LIVES AND WHO IS ACTING IN A
PARENTAL ROLE OF A CHILD.
THIS DEFINITION SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY COUNTY AGENCY OR PERSON
ACTING AS AN AGENT OF THE COUNTY AGENCY IN THE JURISDICTION OF A
DEPENDENT CHILD DEFINED UNDER 42 PA.C.S. § 6302 (RELATING TO
DEFINITIONS). THIS DEFINITION SHALL NOT EXPAND THE RIGHT OF A
CHILD UNDER ANY OTHER SECTION OF THIS ACT.
"SCHOOL" SHALL MEAN THE EDUCATIONAL ENTITY IN WHICH THE CHILD
IS ENROLLED.
"SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT CONFERENCE" SHALL MEAN A
CONFERENCE WHERE THE CHILD'S ABSENCES AND REASONS FOR THE
ABSENCES ARE EXAMINED IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE ATTENDANCE, WITH
OR WITHOUT ADDITIONAL SERVICES. THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS SHALL
BE INVITED TO THE CONFERENCE:
(1) THE CHILD.
(2) THE CHILD'S PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION.
(3) OTHER INDIVIDUALS IDENTIFIED BY THE PERSON IN PARENTAL
RELATION WHO MAY BE A RESOURCE.
(4) APPROPRIATE SCHOOL PERSONNEL.
(5) RECOMMENDED SERVICE PROVIDERS.
"SCHOOL DAY" SHALL MEAN THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT A CHILD
SUBJECT TO COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IS EXPECTED TO BE
RECEIVING INSTRUCTION DURING A CALENDAR DAY, AS DETERMINED BY
THE GOVERNING BODY.
"SCHOOL YEAR" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS "SCHOOL TERM" AS
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DEFINED IN SECTION 102, AS APPLICABLE TO A SCHOOL DISTRICT, AND
AS FURTHER DEFINED IN SECTION 1327(B) FOR A DAY SCHOOL WHICH IS
OPERATED BY A BONA FIDE CHURCH OR OTHER RELIGIOUS BODY, SECTION
1327.1(C) FOR A DAY SCHOOL OR BOARDING SCHOOL ACCREDITED BY AN
ACCREDITING ASSOCIATION WHICH IS APPROVED BY THE STATE BOARD OF
EDUCATION, SECTION 1327.1(D) FOR A HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM,
SECTIONS 1501 AND 1504 FOR A PUBLIC SCHOOL OR A SCHOOL DISTRICT,
SECTION 1715-A(9) FOR A CHARTER SCHOOL, SECTION 1749-A(A)(1) FOR
A CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL AND SECTION 1718-A(C) FOR A REGIONAL
CHARTER SCHOOL.
"SCHOOL-BASED OR COMMUNITY-BASED ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT
PROGRAM" SHALL MEAN A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO IMPROVE SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE BY SEEKING TO IDENTIFY AND ADDRESS THE UNDERLYING
REASONS FOR A CHILD'S ABSENCES. THE TERM MAY INCLUDE AN
EDUCATIONAL ASSIGNMENT IN AN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM,
PROVIDED THE PROGRAM DOES NOT INCLUDE A PROGRAM FOR DISRUPTIVE
YOUTH ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE XIX-C.
"TRUANT" SHALL MEAN HAVING INCURRED THREE (3) OR MORE SCHOOL
DAYS OF UNEXCUSED ABSENCES DURING THE CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR BY A
CHILD SUBJECT TO COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE UNDER THIS
ARTICLE.
"UNEXCUSED ABSENCE" SHALL MEAN AN ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL WHICH
IS NOT PERMITTED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1329 AND FOR WHICH
AN APPROVED EXPLANATION HAS NOT BEEN SUBMITTED WITHIN THE TIME
PERIOD AND IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE GOVERNING BODY. AN
OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AN UNEXCUSED
ABSENCE.
SECTION 3. THE ACT IS AMENDED BY ADDING A SECTION TO READ:
SECTION 1327.2. ATTENDANCE POLICY AT CHARTER, REGIONAL
CHARTER AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOLS.--(A) EACH CHARTER, REGIONAL
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CHARTER AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL SHALL ESTABLISH AN ATTENDANCE
POLICY DESIGNED TO ACCURATELY DETERMINE WHEN A CHILD WHO IS
ENROLLED IN A CHARTER, REGIONAL CHARTER OR CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL
HAS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE, WHICH MAY DIFFER FROM THE POLICY OF
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH THE CHILD RESIDES. THE POLICY MUST
CONFORM TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT RELATING TO COMPULSORY
ATTENDANCE.
(B) NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION 1333.2(A), IN THE CASE OF A
CHILD ENROLLED IN A CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL THE VENUE FOR THE
FILING OF A CITATION UNDER SECTION 1333.1 SHALL BE BASED UPON
THE RESIDENCE OF THE CHILD. A CYBER CHARTER SCHOOL MAY
PARTICIPATE IN A PROCEEDING UNDER SECTIONS 1333.1, 1333.2 AND
1333.3 IN PERSON, BY PHONE CONFERENCING, BY VIDEO CONFERENCING
OR BY ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEANS.
(C) CHARTER, REGIONAL CHARTER AND CYBER CHARTER SCHOOLS
SHALL REPORT UNEXCUSED ABSENCES DIRECTLY TO THE DEPARTMENT
ANNUALLY THROUGH THE PENNSYLVANIA INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
(PIMS).
SECTION 4. SECTION 1329 OF THE ACT IS AMENDED BY ADDING
SUBSECTIONS TO READ:
SECTION 1329. EXCUSES FROM ATTENDING SCHOOL.--* * *
(C) IF A STUDENT IS DISMISSED FROM SCHOOL DURING SCHOOL
HOURS FOR HEALTH-RELATED REASONS BY A CERTIFIED SCHOOL NURSE,
REGISTERED NURSE, LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE OR A SCHOOL
ADMINISTRATOR OR DESIGNEE EMPLOYED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, THE
STUDENT'S ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL SHALL BE DEEMED EXCUSED.
(D) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, A
STUDENT SHALL BE EXCUSED DURING SCHOOL HOURS FOR THE PURPOSE OF
OBTAINING PROFESSIONAL HEALTH CARE OR THERAPY SERVICE RENDERED
BY A LICENSED PRACTITIONER OF THE HEALING ARTS IN ANY STATE,
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COMMONWEALTH OR TERRITORY.
(E) THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL PROVIDE GUIDANCE,
RESOURCES AND STRATEGIES FOR FAMILIES, SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS
RELATED TO STUDENTS WITH CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS WHICH SHALL
BE POSTED ON THE DEPARTMENT'S PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE INTERNET
WEBSITE.
SECTION 5. SECTION 1333 OF THE ACT, AMENDED NOVEMBER 17,
1995 (1ST SP.SESS. P.L.1110, NO.29), IS AMENDED TO READ:
SECTION 1333. [PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF COMPULSORY
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS.--(A) (1) EVERY PARENT, GUARDIAN, OR
PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION, HAVING CONTROL OR CHARGE OF ANY
CHILD OR CHILDREN OF COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE, WHO SHALL FAIL TO
COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT REGARDING COMPULSORY
ATTENDANCE, SHALL ON SUMMARY CONVICTION THEREOF, BE SENTENCED TO
PAY A FINE, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH SUCH
OFFENDING PERSON RESIDES, NOT EXCEEDING THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS
($300) AND TO PAY COURT COSTS OR BE SENTENCED TO COMPLETE A
PARENTING EDUCATION PROGRAM OFFERED AND OPERATED BY A LOCAL
SCHOOL DISTRICT, MEDICAL INSTITUTION OR OTHER COMMUNITY
RESOURCES, AND, IN DEFAULT OF THE PAYMENT OF SUCH FINE AND COSTS
OR COMPLETION OF THE PARENTING PROGRAM BY THE PERSON SO
OFFENDING, SHALL BE SENTENCED TO THE COUNTY JAIL FOR A PERIOD
NOT EXCEEDING FIVE (5) DAYS. ANY PERSON SENTENCED TO PAY ANY
SUCH FINE MAY APPEAL TO THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF THE PROPER
COUNTY, UPON ENTERING INTO A RECOGNIZANCE, WITH ONE OR MORE
PROPER SURETIES, IN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF PENALTY AND COSTS.
BEFORE ANY PROCEEDINGS ARE INSTITUTED AGAINST ANY PARENT,
GUARDIAN, OR PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION, FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY
WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, THE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT,
ATTENDANCE OFFICER, OR SECRETARY OF THE BOARD OF SCHOOL
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DIRECTORS, SHALL GIVE THE OFFENDING PERSON THREE (3) DAYS'
WRITTEN NOTICE OF SUCH VIOLATION. IF, AFTER SUCH NOTICE HAS BEEN
GIVEN, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT REGARDING COMPULSORY
ATTENDANCE ARE AGAIN VIOLATED BY THE PERSONS SO NOTIFIED, AT ANY
TIME DURING THE TERM OF COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE, SUCH PERSON, SO
AGAIN OFFENDING, SHALL BE LIABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS
SECTION WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE.
(2) THE CHILD AND EVERY PARENT, GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN
PARENTAL RELATION MUST APPEAR AT A HEARING ESTABLISHED BY THE
DISTRICT JUSTICE. IF THE PARENT, GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN PARENTAL
RELATION CHARGED WITH A SUMMARY OFFENSE UNDER THIS SUBSECTION
SHOWS THAT HE OR SHE TOOK EVERY REASONABLE STEP TO INSURE
ATTENDANCE OF THE CHILD AT SCHOOL, HE OR SHE SHALL NOT BE
CONVICTED OF THE SUMMARY OFFENSE.
(3) UPON A SUMMARY CONVICTION, THE DISTRICT JUSTICE MAY
SUSPEND, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, A SENTENCE IN WHICH A PARENT,
GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION IS SUMMONED TO PAY AS
REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION: PROVIDED, THAT THE CHILD NO LONGER
IS HABITUALLY TRUANT FROM SCHOOL WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION.
(4) IN LIEU OF OR IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER SENTENCE IMPOSED
UNDER THIS SECTION, THE DISTRICT JUSTICE MAY ORDER THE PARENT,
GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION TO PERFORM COMMUNITY
SERVICE IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH THE OFFENDING CHILD
RESIDES FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED SIX (6) MONTHS.
(B) (1) IF THE PARENT, GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN PARENTAL
RELATION IS NOT CONVICTED OF A SUMMARY OFFENSE BECAUSE HE OR SHE
TOOK EVERY REASONABLE STEP TO INSURE ATTENDANCE OF THE CHILD AT
SCHOOL, A CHILD OF COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE WHO HAS ATTAINED THE
AGE OF THIRTEEN (13) YEARS AND FAILS TO COMPLY WITH THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT REGARDING COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE OR WHO IS
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HABITUALLY TRUANT FROM SCHOOL WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION COMMITS A
SUMMARY OFFENSE AND EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN CLAUSE (4) SHALL, UPON
CONVICTION, BE SENTENCED TO PAY A FINE NOT EXCEEDING THREE
HUNDRED DOLLARS ($300) FOR EACH OFFENSE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE
SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH SUCH OFFENDING CHILD RESIDES OR SHALL
BE ASSIGNED TO AN ADJUDICATION ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM PURSUANT TO
42 PA.C.S. § 1520 (RELATING TO ADJUDICATION ALTERNATIVE
PROGRAM).
(2) FOR ANY CHILD WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF THIRTEEN (13)
YEARS WHO FAILS TO PAY THE FINE UNDER CLAUSE (1) OR TO COMPLY
WITH THE ADJUDICATION ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM, THE DISTRICT JUSTICE
MAY ALLEGE THE CHILD TO BE DEPENDENT UNDER 42 PA.C.S. § 6303(A)
(1) (RELATING TO SCOPE OF CHAPTER). THE FAILURE BY THE CHILD TO
PAY A FINE OR COMPLY WITH THE ADJUDICATION ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM
SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A DELINQUENT ACT UNDER 42 PA.C.S. CH. 63
(RELATING TO JUVENILE MATTERS).
(3) UPON A SUMMARY CONVICTION OR ASSIGNMENT TO AN
ADJUDICATION ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM, THE DISTRICT JUSTICE MAY
SUSPEND, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, A SENTENCE OR AN ADJUDICATION
ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM IN WHICH A CHILD WHO HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF
THIRTEEN (13) YEARS MUST PAY OR COMPLY WITH THE ADJUDICATION
ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM: PROVIDED, THAT THE CHILD NO LONGER IS
HABITUALLY TRUANT FROM SCHOOL WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION.
(4) ANY CHILD WHO HAS NOT ATTAINED THE AGE OF THIRTEEN (13)
YEARS WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH THE COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT AND IS HABITUALLY TRUANT SHALL BE
REFERRED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR SERVICES OR POSSIBLE
DISPOSITION AS A DEPENDENT CHILD AS DEFINED UNDER 42 PA.C.S. §
6302 (RELATING TO DEFINITIONS). ANY CHILD WHO HAS ATTAINED THE
AGE OF THIRTEEN (13) YEARS WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH THE
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COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT AND IS HABITUALLY
TRUANT MAY, IN LIEU OF A PROSECUTION UNDER CLAUSE (1), BE
REFERRED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR SERVICES OR POSSIBLE
DISPOSITION AS A DEPENDENT CHILD AS DEFINED UNDER 42 PA.C.S. §
6302.
(5) THE FOLLOWING WORDS, WHEN USED IN THIS SUBSECTION, SHALL
HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANING, EXCEPT WHERE THE CONTEXT CLEARLY
INDICATES OR REQUIRES A DIFFERENT MEANING:
"COMMUNITY RESOURCES" SHALL MEAN THOSE AGENCIES AND SERVICES
FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH PROVIDED BY THE JUVENILE COURT, THE
COUNTY, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC
WELFARE AND OTHER PUBLIC OR PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS.
"DISTRICT JUSTICE" SHALL MEAN SUCH COURT AS THE COURT OF
COMMON PLEAS SHALL DIRECT IN COUNTIES NOT HAVING DISTRICT
JUSTICES.
"HABITUALLY TRUANT" SHALL MEAN ABSENCE FOR MORE THAN THREE
(3) SCHOOL DAYS OR THEIR EQUIVALENT FOLLOWING THE FIRST NOTICE
OF TRUANCY GIVEN UNDER SECTION 1354. A PERSON MAY BE HABITUALLY
TRUANT AFTER SUCH NOTICE.
"OFFENSE" SHALL MEAN EACH CITATION WHICH GOES BEFORE A
DISTRICT JUSTICE OR COURT OF COMMON PLEAS.
"PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION" SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY COUNTY
AGENCY OR PERSON ACTING AS AN AGENT OF THE COUNTY AGENCY IN THE
JURISDICTION OF A DEPENDENT CHILD DEFINED UNDER 42 PA.C.S. §
6302 (RELATING TO DEFINITIONS).
(C) IF A CHILD IS CONVICTED FOR A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION,
THE COURT, INCLUDING A COURT NOT OF RECORD, SHALL SEND TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION A CERTIFIED RECORD OF THE
CONVICTION OR OTHER DISPOSITION ON A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE
DEPARTMENT.
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(D) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY TO A
PARENT, GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION WHOSE CHILD OR
CHILDREN ARE IN A HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1327.1.]
PROCEDURE WHEN CHILD IS TRUANT.--(A) WHEN A CHILD IS TRUANT,
THE SCHOOL SHALL NOTIFY IN WRITING THE PERSON IN PARENTAL
RELATION WITH THE CHILD WHO RESIDES IN THE SAME HOUSEHOLD AS THE
CHILD OF THE CHILD'S VIOLATION OF COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
WITHIN TEN (10) SCHOOL DAYS OF THE CHILD'S THIRD UNEXCUSED
ABSENCE. THE NOTICE:
(1) SHALL INCLUDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE CONSEQUENCES THAT
WILL FOLLOW IF THE CHILD BECOMES HABITUALLY TRUANT;
(2) SHALL BE IN THE MODE AND LANGUAGE OF COMMUNICATION
PREFERRED BY THE PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION;
(3) MAY INCLUDE THE OFFER OF A SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT
CONFERENCE; OR
(4) WHEN TRANSMITTED TO A PERSON WHO IS NOT THE BIOLOGICAL
OR ADOPTIVE PARENT, SHALL ALSO BE PROVIDED TO THE CHILD'S
BIOLOGICAL OR ADOPTIVE PARENT IF THE PARENT'S MAILING ADDRESS IS
ON FILE WITH THE SCHOOL AND THE PARENT IS NOT PRECLUDED FROM
RECEIVING THE INFORMATION BY COURT ORDER.
(B) IF THE CHILD CONTINUES TO INCUR UNEXCUSED ABSENCES AFTER
THE SCHOOL HAS ISSUED THE NOTICE UNDER SUBSECTION (A), THE
SCHOOL SHALL THEN OFFER BY ADVANCE WRITTEN NOTICE A SCHOOL
ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT CONFERENCE TO THE CHILD AND THE PERSON IN
PARENTAL RELATION, UNLESS A CONFERENCE WAS PREVIOUSLY HELD
FOLLOWING THE NOTICE PROVIDED UNDER SUBSECTION (A). THE
FOLLOWING SHALL APPLY:
(1) THIS SUBSECTION DOES NOT PLACE A LEGAL REQUIREMENT UPON
THE CHILD OR PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION TO ATTEND THE
CONFERENCE. THE CONFERENCE SHALL OCCUR EVEN IF THE PERSON IN
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PARENTAL RELATION DECLINES TO PARTICIPATE OR FAILS TO ATTEND THE
SCHEDULED CONFERENCE AFTER ADVANCE WRITTEN NOTICE AND ATTEMPTS
TO COMMUNICATE VIA TELEPHONE .
(2) THE OUTCOME OF THE CONFERENCE SHALL BE DOCUMENTED IN A
WRITTEN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL
DEVELOP A FORM TO BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE, AND EACH SCHOOL
SHALL USE A FORM SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THE FORM DEVELOPED BY
THE DEPARTMENT.
(3) FURTHER LEGAL ACTION MAY NOT BE TAKEN BY THE SCHOOL TO
ADDRESS UNEXCUSED ABSENCES BY THE CHILD UNTIL AFTER THE DATE FOR
THE SCHEDULED SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT CONFERENCE HAS
PASSED.
(C) SCHOOLS SHALL NOT EXPEL OR IMPOSE OUT-OF-SCHOOL
SUSPENSION, DISCIPLINARY REASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER FOR TRUANT
BEHAVIOR.
(D) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY TO A
PARENT, GUARDIAN OR PERSON IN PARENTAL RELATION WHOSE CHILD OR
CHILDREN ARE IN A HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM UNDER SECTION 1327.1.
SECTION 6. THE ACT IS AMENDED BY ADDING SECTIONS TO READ:
SECTION 1333.1. PROCEDURE BY SCHOOL WHEN CHILD HABITUALLY
TRUANT.--(A) WHEN A CHILD IS HABITUALLY TRUANT AND UNDER
FIFTEEN (15) YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF REFERRAL, THE SCHOOL:
(1) SHALL REFER THE CHILD TO EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING:
(I) A SCHOOL-BASED OR COMMUNITY-BASED ATTENDANCE IMPROVEMENT
PROGRAM.
(II) THE COUNTY CHILDREN AND YOUTH AGENCY FOR SERVICES OR