Truancy Legislation: Our Concerns and Plan of Action

Bob Kefgen's picture

Recently, MASSP members may have heard about a package of legislation that would amend Michigan’s truancy laws. These bills, which are based on recommendations that came from Michigan’s School Justice Partnership, have been awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee since the spring. Many principals are members of their county’s School Justice Partnership and we have spoken with several principals about the details of the bills as currently written. All have agreed that, without changes, these bills would hamper rather than help the work they are doing locally to address student attendance issues.

MASSP recently participated in a workgroup with MASA, MAISA, MASB and other stakeholders to discuss proposed changes to the bills, including duplicative reporting and conflicting definitions, and, ultimately, their effect on both students and local districts’ ability to manage attendance policies that support learning. We hope to be able to move forward with these recommendations and work with both the committee chair and bill sponsors to create legislation that will address the concerns raised by the many educators who have to live with the changes proposed in these bills.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding both the legislation and our progress as they become available. At this time, though, we encourage MASSP members to withhold any support of these bills until the concerns raised by so many school groups are addressed. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.