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Cracking Down on Truancy

Pete Springer/OPB/Creative Commons

Parents in Newberg might have to pay up if their kids cut class. A school principal worked with law enforcement in Newberg to craft a policy that would allow police officers to issue $242 citations to parents whose children are consistently absent from school. The Newberg School Board votes Monday night on the proposal, which includes the fine as a last resort — when letters, phone calls and a review board hearing haven’t been effective. Oregon law allows for a citation policy, but each district has to create their own, so consequences for unexcused absences vary from district to district.

Portland Public Schools doesn’t fine parents, but police in the Hillsboro district started issuing citations a few years ago. One radio station in John Day does its part to keep kids in school by announcing names of truants live on the air.

Have you had trouble keeping your kids in school? What works? What are the consequences for truancy in your district?


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