Schuitmaker Proposes Plan To Reduce Truancy

A plan to reduce truancy in Michigan has been proposed in the state Senate. Co-sponsored by state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, it would create a statewide definition of what truancy is, along with protocols for dealing with chronically absent kids.

“It allows a school district to notify a child’s parent or guardian to attend a meeting regarding attendance irregularities, failing work, or behavior problems, and then it offers an attendance agreement and discusses the consequences,” Schuitmaker said.

The legislation defines truancy as ten unexcused absences in a school year. Schuitmaker tells WSJM News making sure more kids go to school will mean more high school graduates, and later on, fewer prisoners. She notes, of the nearly 9,000 people sentenced to prison in Michigan in 2012, 49% didn’t have a diploma or GED. Her bills are now before a state Senate committee.