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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 102 History

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HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO 102.

(By Delegates Perry, Barill, Paxton, Pethtel,

Shaver, Armstead, Duke and Savilla)

 

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to conduct a study regarding the impact of truancy on students, schools and society, and strategies to address truancy and improve school attendance by truant students.

    Whereas, Education is a fundamental constitutional right in West Virginia; and

    Whereas, Research shows that the factors contributing to truancy stem from the realms of home, family and community; school; and personal psychological characteristics; and

    Whereas, Absenteeism is proven to be one of the highest predictors of school failure and that the student will eventually drop out of school; and

    Whereas, Each year nearly 7000 West Virginia students leave school prior to achieving a high school diploma; and

    Whereas, Truancy is a risk factor for serious juvenile delinquency and adult crime; and

    Whereas, Children who are truant are more likely to be involved with illegal drugs; and

    Whereas, The maximum number of unexcused absences allowed by West Virginia Code is five; and

    Whereas, Truancy negatively affects the entire learning process; and

    Whereas, The negative impact of truancy on society is extensive, and includes such outcomes as increased crime, low standards of living, low property values, lack of skilled workforce, and cyclical and generational devaluing of education attainment, to name only a few; and

    Whereas, At least 75% of high school dropouts are eventually incarcerated; and

    Whereas, At least 75% of all prison inmates in the state are high school dropouts; and

    Whereas, More than 80% of prison inmates are functionally illiterate; and

    Whereas, It is estimated that the 2008 class of high school dropouts will cost the state $1.7 billion in lost wages over their lifetimes; and

    Whereas, Each class of high school dropouts will costs the state $55 million in health care costs over the students’ lifetimes; and

    Whereas, Being present at the workplace is an integral component of fulfilling the responsibilities of employment; and

    Whereas, Employers often have strict attendance policies and both reward employees who adhere to the policies and discipline those who do not; and

    Whereas, Schools should prepare students for the demands of the adult world, such as the expectation of employers that employees faithfully and reliably attend work; and

    Whereas, Magistrate and Circuit Courts in West Virginia have initiated various effective anti-truancy strategies and programs in recent years; and

    Whereas, Historically, interventions have begun in the middle grades, which ignores and destroys the foundation of a student’s education; and

    Whereas, The most effective strategies begin at the elementary school level, involve efforts from both schools and families, include meaningful incentives for good attendance and consequences for poor attendance, and involve participation from community sources such as law enforcement, mental health workers, mentors, and social service providers; and

    Whereas, The Legislature should explore effective truancy interventions; and

    Whereas, Interventions to explore should include, but not be limited to, implementation of policies that promote school attendance through rewards for good attendance and consequences for poor attendance; promotion of attendance incentive programs; modification of available consequences and penalties for parents whose children are truant; and therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to conduct a study regarding the impact of truancy on students, schools and society, and strategies to address truancy and improve school attendance by truant students; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the Legislature, on the first day of the regular session, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations together with drafts of any legislation to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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