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New anti-truancy plan tries to keep kids in school
Backers of the bill say suspension and expulsion are not the best ways to treat truancy

Karen Kasler
Rep. Bill Hayes ( R-Granville) is co-sponsor of a bill that encourages earlier intervention if a student is habitually missing school.
Courtesy of Ohio House of Reps
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Thousands of Ohio students are truant every year, and many are expelled because they don’t come to school. A trio of Republican lawmakers have a proposal to deal with the problem. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

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The bill will removes truancy from the “zero tolerance” policy, which can require the one-size-fits-all punishment of suspension or expulsion.  Rep. Bill Hayes of Granville is one of the sponsors.

“We’re going to stop suspending kids from school because they’re not coming to school, or expelling them because they’re not coming to school,” says Hayes.

The measure also requires schools to notification of families and caregivers before students become truant, and requires a team of school officials and family members to meet with the student to come up with an anti-truancy plan. Education experts have some concerns, but are mostly supportive.

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