Plan to decriminalize truancy headed for full Texas Senate

AUSTIN (AP) — A Texas Senate panel has approved a bill to decriminalize truancy, advancing it after hearing an endorsement from the state’s Supreme Court chief justice.

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said he supports the idea since Texas has “a real problem with keeping kids in school.”

The committee later voted unanimously to recommend it to the full Senate.

Houston Democratic Sen. John Whitmire is sponsoring a plan making truancy a misdemeanor punishable by graduated fines for parents starting at $100. Also, schools would be required to designate someone to implement truancy prevention measures.

Under current law, students with three unexcused absences in four weeks — or 10 unexcused absences in six months — could face fines up to $500.

Nearly 100,000 Texas schoolchildren were ticketed for missing school in fiscal year 2014.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s