Governor Dave Heineman has no second thoughts about the state’s truancy law.
That “common sense” the governor is talking about is the number of days a student can miss school before information is sent to a county attorney for intervention. The law stands at 20 days. Some parents were called to a county attorney’s office to meet with them about the excessive number of days missed. These are parents of sick children who have medical conditions that require them to stay home or for some students who have suffered an emotional loss and needed the time away from school for mental health reasons.
Governor Heineman says the purpose of the law is not aimed at students with a medical condition. The law requires all districts to report a student’s attendance record to the county attorney when 20 days are missed. The county attorney’s office then investigates if the absences are due to illness, parental neglect or if a child missing school on his or her own.
Some parents in the state would like to challenge the law so that the county attorney receives reports from school districts of students with unexcused absences only.