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001collinsSPRINGFIELD – Illinois schools would need to communicate their truancy policies to families on a yearly basis under legislation by State Senator Jacqueline Collins that passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

“We think of truancy and chronic absenteeism as one problem because the end result is that we don’t have a child at their desk. The truth is that it is complicated and stems from many factors: Transportation, family illness, mental health difficulties or disabilities,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “We need absence policies that are consistent and are applied consistently. This legislation ensures that, and ensures families know those policies.”

Chronic truancy — when students miss more than 5% of the school year — has increased in Illinois since 2015, when about 9% of students were considered chronically truant. As many as 13.4% are chronically truant currently. Senate Bill 605 requires schools to develop a truancy and chronic absence policy each year and report it to families, including information on chronic truancy.

The legislation awaits consideration in the Illinois House.

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