DC mayor plans to reduce student absenteeism but won’t ‘punish parents per se’

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser plans to announce legislation to hold parents accountable if their children are chronically absent from the school system.

According to a report by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 60% of high school students in Washington were chronically absent from school, and 43% of all grade levels were chronically absent during the 2022-23 school year.

At least 10 full-day unexcused absences are considered chronic absenteeism.

While Bowser cannot put parents in jail, she previewed her legislation as helping parents “get services” to prevent further truancy.

“We want to make sure that all of our systems from the courts to the attorney general are using every tool that they have — not to punish parents per se,” Bowser said on Monday, “but to make sure that they
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