|Posted:||June 17, 2014 10:55 AM|
|From:||Representative Mark M. Gillen|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||"Eileen's Law" - Amending Public School Code Regarding Parents' Responsibility for Student Truancy|
|I will soon be introducing legislation amending the Public School Code so that parents and guardians will no longer bear the brunt of the punishment for a student’s truancy. Under my legislation, a parent or guardian will be required to attend a parenting education program or perform community service, but will not be thrown in jail because they can’t afford to pay harsh fines imposed by the courts. Incarcerating parents for failure to pay truancy fines cause further disruption and issues with the very families that need social services and guidance.
Research shows that the majority of individuals being jailed for failure to pay truancy fines are women with very limited resources. This bill is a result of a tragedy that happened in Berks County last week when a single mother of seven, Eileen DiNino, was ordered to pay more than $2,000 in truancy fines or go to jail. Mrs. DiNino, who lost her husband in 2011 after a long illness, couldn’t pay her fines and was ordered to Berks County prison where she died alone in a cell away from her children. Mrs. DiNino was a single mother trying to do her best to raise her children on very limited means.
Please join me in supporting “Eileen’s Law” to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Introduced as HB2356