UPDATE, March 11, 2014: Attorney General Kamala Harris and a team of legislators Monday introduced a package of bills to battle chronic student absenteeism, as reported by Jane Meredith Adams on today's EdSource.
Senate Bill 1107 – Mandated Annual Report Legislation. Author: Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel. Mandate that the California attorney general issue an annual report on elementary school truancy and chronic absenteeism.
Assembly Bill 1866 – Statewide Attendance Data System. Author: Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima. Enhance the state Department of Education’s student record system to include fields on truancy and absenteeism.
Assembly Bill 1672 – Enhanced Student Attendance Review Board Reports. Author: Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena. Require that local School Attendance Review Boards report annually on referral rates to county offices of education and include information on student enrollment, absence and truancy rates, district attorney referrals and intervention outcomes.
Assembly Bill 1643 – Mandatory Student Attendance Review Boards. Author: Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo. Require that every county create a SARB.
Assembly Bill 2141 – District Attorney Referral Outcome Reports. Authors: Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland. Require that when a parent or student is referred to a district attorney’s office or charges are considered to enforce state school attendance laws, the prosecuting agency must provide a report on the outcome of the referral.
Ocober 1, 2013: Kamala Harris...released a report yesterday, "In School + On Track," revealing that nearly a million CA elementary students are truant each year -- an "attendance crisis" that is costing public schools $1.4 billion a year (2010-11) in ADA (average daily attendance) monies, as well as, clearly, negatively impacting the education of the children.
Covering the story for the Los Angeles, Teresa Watanabe writes:
...Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Calaveras [Counties] had the highest truancy rates — about 30% — last year. Los Angeles County's rate was 20.5%, with about 166,000 truant elementary students.