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Introduced Version Senate Bill 177 History

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Senate Bill No. 177

(By Senators Walters, Blair, Boley, Carmichael, Cole, Sypolt, Wells and Nohe)

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         [Introduced February 15, 2013; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance       .]                      

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A BILL to amend and reenact §18-8-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to penalties for primary and secondary school students for excessive tardy minutes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
    That §18-8-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.
§18-8-2. Offenses; penalties; cost of prosecution.
                                            Any person who, after receiving due notice, shall fail to cause a child or children under eighteen years of age in that person's legal or actual charge to attend school in violation of the provisions of this article or without just cause, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100 together with the costs of prosecution, or required to accompany the child to school and remain through the school day for so long as the magistrate or judge may determine is appropriate. The magistrate or judge, upon conviction and pronouncing sentence, may delay the sentence for a period of sixty school days provided the child is in attendance everyday during said sixty-day period. Following the sixty-day period, if said the child was present at school for every school day, the delayed sentence may be suspended and not enacted. Upon conviction of a second offense, a fine may be imposed of not less than $50 nor more than $100 together with the costs of prosecution and the person may be required to accompany the child to school and remain throughout the school day until such time as the magistrate or judge may determine is appropriate or confined in jail not less than five nor more than twenty days. Every day a child is out of school contrary to the provisions of this article shall constitute a separate offense. Magistrates shall have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts for the trial of offenses arising under this section.
                                            Any person eighteen years of age or older who is enrolled in school who, after receiving due notice, fails to attend school in violation of the provisions of this article or without just cause, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100 together with the costs of prosecution and required to attend school and remain throughout the school day. The magistrate or judge, upon conviction and pronouncing sentence, may delay the imposition of a fine for a period of sixty school days provided the person is in attendance every day during said the sixty-day period. Following the sixty-day period, if said the student was present at school everyday, the delayed sentence may be suspended and not enacted. Upon conviction of a second offense, a fine may be imposed of not less than $50 nor more than $100 together with the costs of prosecution and the person may be required to go to school and remain throughout the school day until such time as the person graduates or withdraws from school or confined in jail not less than five nor more than twenty days. Every day a student is out of school contrary to the provisions of this article shall constitute a separate offense. Magistrates shall have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts for the trial of offenses arising under this section.
                                            Upon conviction of a third offense, any person eighteen years of age or older who is enrolled in school shall be withdrawn from school during the remainder of that school year. Enrollment of that person in school during the next school year or years thereafter shall be conditional upon all absences being excused as defined in law, state board policy and county board of education policy. More than one unexcused absence of such a the student shall be grounds for the director of attendance to authorize the school to withdraw the person for the remainder of the school year. Magistrates shall have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts for the trial of offenses arising under this section.
                                            All unexcused tardy minutes shall be calculated by all West Virginia Public Schools, primary and secondary and counted as absences toward student's school attendance record effective at the beginning of the 2013/2014 school year. All unexcused minutes a student is tardy at the beginning of a school day shall be calculated and recorded and when the minutes for any student reaches half a school day then the student will be charged with half an absence. Those absences any student accumulates from tardy minutes shall be counted and enforced exactly as unexcused absences that are eligible for prosecution for guardians and students. The accumulated absences from unexcused tardy minutes shall be enforced and prosecuted to the same extent as stated for absences in this section.
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NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to assess penalties for excessive tardy minutes for primary and secondary school students.                                                     
                                            Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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