Report: 1 Million California Students Truant in 2012/13

California is facing an “attendance crisis” in which an estimated 1 million students were declared truant last year, state Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a new report calling for a stronger focus on fighting absenteeism.

“These are children as young as 5 years old who are out of school, falling behind, and too many of them never catch up,” Harris said in a statement. “This crisis is not only crippling for our economy, it is a basic threat to public safety. It’s time for accountability and to craft real solutions at every level – from parents to school districts to law enforcement – to solve this problem.”

Harris unveiled a report that she said provided the first state-wide statistics on truancy. Her findings: 1 million elementary school students were truant last year, and 250,000 elementary students missed 18 or more school days. The absences cost schools $1.4 billion in attendance funding, according to the report, called “In School and On Track” and released Monday at an anti-truancy event in Los Angeles.

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