Alabama - Family Engagement on Chronic Absenteeism: Program requirements

Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation

State law involves parents in responding to truancy or chronic absenteeism using non-punitive or supportive interventions.

Alabama Code 16-6B-3 Assistance programs.

(a) Student strategy. — The superintendent of the local board of education along with the staff of each school shall develop an assistance program at each school for at-risk students performing below the standards set by the State Board of Education. The standards shall include the results of the required assessment program adopted by the State Board of Education with emphasis on students who are found to be at one or more grade levels below the prescribed norm. The local board of education shall budget at least one hundred dollars ($100) per student so identified to be expended on tutorial assistance programs including, but not limited to, after-school, Saturday school, or summer school, or any combination of these programs. These funds may be budgeted from state or federal funds. However, federal funds already budgeted for at-risk students may not be counted toward the minimum one hundred dollars ($100) requirement set aside to be expended for at-risk students as defined in this chapter. In addition, these funds may be expended for any of the following purposes:

(1) Programs to encourage at-risk five-year olds to attend an approved preschool program.
(2) Programs to identify at-risk students in the first grade.
(3) Programs to ensure strict enforcement of truancy laws.
(4) Programs to create alternative or disciplinary schools in which children who consistently exhibit behaviors or patterns of behaviors that interfere with the learning environment of other students would be placed and would be provided counseling and instruction in basic skills.
(5) Programs to encourage parental involvement of parents of at-risk children.

Alabama Code 16-28-2.2 Establishment of program by local boards to inform parents of educational responsibilities.

(1) The criminal liability and criminal sanctions parents may be subject to under Section 16-28-12, for failing to compel their child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil, or for failing to ensure that their child attends school or enrolls in school.

Alabama Code 290-3-1-.02 Regulations Governing Public Schools.

(c) Truancy Definition. A parent, guardian, or other person having charge of any child officially enrolled in Alabama public schools (K-12) shall explain in writing the cause of any and every absence of the child no later than three (3) school days following return to school. A failure to furnish such explanation shall be evidence of the child being truant each day he is absent. The child shall also be deemed truant for any absence determined by the principal to be unexcused based upon the State Department of Education's current School Attendance Manual. Seven unexcused absences within a school year constitute a student being truant for the purpose of filing a petition with the Court. The Interagency Committee on Youth Truancy Task Force recommendations known as the Early Warning Truancy Prevention Program timeline for reporting truancy shall define the truancy status of any student as follows:

    1. First truancy/unexcused absence (warning)
      • (i) Parent/guardian shall be notified by the school principal or his/her designee that the student was truant and the date of the truancy.
      • (ii) Parent/guardian shall also be provided with a copy of Alabama's compulsory school attendance laws and advised of the penalties that can be applied and the procedures that shall be followed in the event that other unexcused absences occur.
    1. No earlier than the fifth unexcused absence (conference)
      • (i) The parent, guardian, or person having control of the child shall (1) attend a conference with the attendance officer and principal or his/her designee and/or (2) participate in the early warning program provided by the juvenile court.
      • (ii) Attendance at one of these conferences shall be mandatory except where prior arrangements have been made or an emergency exists.
      • (iii) Failure to appear at the school conference and/or to appear at the early warning program shall result in the filing of a complaint/petition against the parent under Code of Ala. 1975, § 16-28-12(c) (failure to cooperate), or a truancy against the child, whichever is appropriate.
    1. No earlier than seventh unexcused absence, but within ten (10) school days (court)
      • (i) File complaint/petition against the child and/or parent/guardian, if appropriate.
    1. Child under probation
      • (i) The school attendance officer should be notified by the juvenile probation officer of all children in the school system under probation supervision by the juvenile court as consistent with state statute, Code of Ala. 1975, § 12-15-100 and 105.
      • (ii) Where a child under probation is truant, the school attendance officer should immediately notify the juvenile probation officer.
        Alabama State Department of Education
Policy Links: