States and school districts vary in how they define truancy. In Wisconsin, a student who misses 5 days of school during a semester without an acceptable excuse is labeled as truant. In Washington, DC, you aren’t labeled a truant until you have missed 15 days of school without an excuse. Because of the variation in definitions, there are no nationwide statistics on truancy, but school districts report that anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of their high school students are truant.
On this podcast we talk about what causes truancy, and about different ways of fighting truancy. Joining us are Jessica Pinson Pennington, executive director of the Truancy Intervention Project in Georgia, and Barbara Babb and Gloria Danziger of the Truancy Court Program organized by the Center for Families, Children and the Courts at the University of Baltimore School of Law.
To learn more about truancy, please read “Truant,” an article by June Kronholz that appears in the winter 2011 issue of Education Next.