Starting October 1, 2012, many families in Michigan will be faced with new legislation requiring their children to attend school or lose their state assistance. What this means to the parents of children in Pontiac is an extra effort must be made in getting their children to school. Community activists, educators and elected officials cite numerous explanations for the increasing truancy but that appears to have little impact on deterring the policy enacted by Governor Rick Snyder. The only way to avoid a possible reduction in state aid assistance is to send make sure our children are in school.
In a recent article written in the Detroit News, 93,408 cases of truancy was reported in Michigan schools in the 2011-12 school year which was an increase of nearly 10,000 cases (Detroit News 2012). It was further stated in the article that this new policy is expected to affect the 59,000 cash-assistance cases and its 162,655 recipients in an attempt to reverse this trend.
Michigan Law requires all children to attend school. A child is considered truant when he or she is between the ages of 6-15 has 10 or more unexcused absences in a school year. The new law requires all families applying for state aid to verify enrollment of their children and to update their status on an annual basis. It is my understanding that if there are multiple children in the home and one child is deemed truant, then all children will lose their state assistance. In order for a family to regain assistant, that child must attend school for 21 consecutive days .
Pontiac School District explains our policies on attendance (policy 8020 and 8020-R), truancy (policy 8030), and absences and excuses (policy 8035). This information can be found in our Student Code of Conduct booklet given to each student at the beginning of the school year. The policies are also on our website http://www.pontiac.k12.mi.us/PDF/Policies/8000students.pdf....