Truancy crackdown begins Oct.1 - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Truancy crackdown begins Oct.1

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(09/25/12) - Parents who get cash assistance from the state and they're kids don't attend school, could lose those benefits under a new state policy that takes effect Monday.

While Flint Community Schools doesn't want to see any family lose their assistance, this policy further supports the district's already tough truancy program.

The Michigan Department of Human Services will require children ages 6 to15 to attend school full time to keep their family eligible for cash benefits.

A student is considered truant in Michigan when he or she has 10 or more unexcused absences during the school year.

DHS workers are already in Flint's elementary schools. School leaders anticipate that number to increase once the policy is enacted.

The district will partner with the state to monitor students who are not in the classroom, and work together to help parents get what they need to get kids to school.

This change was prompted by Gov. Rick Snyder, who called for a crackdown on truancy at schools. 

To give more perspective, during the 2010-2011 school year, 12 percent of Flint's elementary kids were absent. Twenty percent of middle school age kids were not there either.

"With us servicing families that receive public assistance, obviously, this is going to have an impact on them. We see it as something that agrees with our mission to make sure students are in school, are here every day and on time, so they can receive quality education that they deserve," said Keiona Murphy, Flint Community Schools.

Policy change takes effect two days before Michigan's fall Count Day, when attendance is used to determine most of a school district's per-pupil funding from the state.

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