1Directing the Joint State Government Commission to study, in
2consultation with an advisory committee, the issue of truancy
3and school dropout prevention in this Commonwealth.

4WHEREAS, Chronic truancy and school dropout rates continue to
5be critical problems nationally and in this Commonwealth, and
6educators, parents, community leaders and policymakers at all
7levels of government have focused attention on the need to
8address the academic achievement gap and the declining high
9school graduation rate; and

10WHEREAS, Students who have unexcused absences from school and
11become truant are more likely to fail to maintain academic pace
12with their peers and to be at risk of dropping out of school;

14WHEREAS, Research indicates that truancy is a barrier to
15opportunities for future employment success and contributes to
16involvement in drug use, daytime crime and violence; and

17WHEREAS, Adopting court performance measures for children in

1foster care may provide educational stability and success; and

2WHEREAS, Current truancy policy and laws may not apply
3equally to all public schools, as the enforcement standards
4differ for traditional school districts and for charter and
5cyber charter schools; and

6WHEREAS, Current truancy penalties may need further scrutiny
7and revision, as penalties and practices may not be effective at
8curtailing truancy; and

9WHEREAS, The current collection of truancy data may be
10insufficient; and

11WHEREAS, Schools, law enforcement, parents and courts may
12have insufficient authority to deal with truancy issues; and

13WHEREAS, Current detention programs for truants may not be
14effective; therefore be it

15RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives direct the Joint
16State Government Commission to do the following:

17(1) Conduct a comprehensive study of the issues of
18truancy and school dropout prevention in this Commonwealth.

19(2) Establish an advisory committee comprised of
20representatives of the Department of Education, educational
21organizations, the judiciary, district attorneys, law
22enforcement, public organizations involved in truancy issues
23and other organizations selected by the Joint State
24Government Commission to consult with the Joint State
25Government Commission in conducting the study;

26and be it further

27RESOLVED, That the study to be conducted by the Joint State
28Government Commission include, but not be limited to, the

30(1) A thorough and comprehensive study of current

1truancy laws and policy.

2(2) Barriers and best practices regarding education
3success and stability.

4(3) Court competencies.

5(4) Data collection.

6(5) Measurement of educational outcomes for children in
7foster care.

8(6) Statutes, best practices and legislative initiatives
9in other states.

10(7) Studies or initiatives promoted by national
11educational advocacy organizations relating to truancy.

12(8) Specific enforcement in charter and cyber charter
13schools be reviewed by charter and cyber charter operatives;

14and be it further

15RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission hold
16informational meetings to receive testimony from professionals
17or organizations with expertise in truancy and truancy
18prevention; and be it further

19RESOLVED, That the Joint State Government Commission issue a
20report of its findings and recommendations to the House of
21Representatives not later than one year after the date of
22adoption of this resolution.