Press ReleasesFebruary 02, 2012
Los Angeles Civil Rights Organizations Applaud Adoption of School Attendance Reform Recommendations by Education Coordinating Council
LOS ANGELES -- Community Rights Campaign, Public Counsel, and the ACLU of Southern California applaud the decision on February 2, 2012, by the Los Angeles County Education Coordinating Council to endorse the findings and recommendations from the multi-agency Student Attendance Task Force (SATF). The recommendations, which were unanimously endorsed by the SATF’s members, are a step forward for Los Angeles County, because they emphasize connecting students to resources to address the causes of attendance issues – rather than punitive approaches proven ineffective as the primary response to truancy or poor attendance. They call for significant reforms to every county agency that interacts with youth who struggle with attendance, including courts, police, and schools.
There are many reasons why students may be late or absent, and research shows that the only way consistently to improve attendance rates is through programs capable of assessing and addressing the specific reasons each child struggles to get to school. Yet there has been little coordination among the youth-serving agencies in Los Angeles and an over-reliance on punitive approaches that are simply incapable of addressing the individual circumstances that lead to truancy or chronic absence.
Our organizations have been working together for over two years to change the way Los Angeles enforces its daytime curfew law, which has resulted in new enforcement directives from the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles School Police Department, and we strongly support a motion by Councilmember Tony Cardenas to amend the City’s daytime curfew law.
Public Counsel, the ACLU, and the Community Rights Campaign look forward to working with the SATF to make the recommendations that were adopted today a reality for the youth of Los Angeles County.