The House Education Committee approved the following items:
Parent Penalties for Truancy -- House Bill 2356 (Rep. Gillen, R-Berks) amends provisions in the School Code regarding truancy by removing required fines and jail time for parents of truant students. Under the bill, a parent must intentionally fail to comply with compulsory attendance requirements in order to warrant a summary conviction. The bill adds community service as an alternative to the current requirement to complete a parenting education program. The committee approved an amendment that reinstates imprisonment as an optional penalty for truancy. Last week PSBA presented testimony to the House Education Committee on House Bill 2356, suggesting that there are a number of legislative changes that would be very helpful in addressing clarity and flexibility with truancy enforcement issues.
Statewide Truancy Study -- House Resolution 1032 (Rep. Benninghoff, R-Centre) directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to examine truancy across the Commonwealth. The resolution was amended to add representatives of county children and youth agencies and juvenile justice agencies to the committee; and clarifies language related to charter and cyber charter schools.