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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 16, 2020 04:23 PM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence
To: All House members
Subject: COSPONSOR MEMO - Clarifying Responsibility for Truancy between IUs and School Districts
Dear Colleagues –
Many school districts now offer an online, or cyber, education.  Some school districts provide this cyber alternative with in-house instructors, while others (including the School District of Philadelphia) outsource the backend of the cyber offering to an Intermediate Unit.   
A constituent brought a situation to my attention that requires a change in the state’s truancy law.  In the specific instance where an IU is contracted to provide online education for a school district, the School Code is unclear exactly how attendance and truancy should be handled and reported.  The constituent’s concern is that students may fall through the cracks, with neither the district nor the IU reporting on truant students.  Additionally, a district may be paying an IU to provide an education, and without robust truancy metrics, the district may be paying for an education that no one is actually receiving.
My proposal will correct this situation by explicitly stating that “If an Intermediate Unit provides all of substantially all of a student’s education, the intermediate unit shall be responsible for all truancy procedures” under the law.
I would appreciate your support for this effort.

Introduced as HB2718