by Hedy Chang
The headlines out of Texas this week have been about the strict truancy policies in Dallas: Critics say students as young as 12 are being marched out of class in handcuffs and charged with crimes for missing school or even being late to class. Interest groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday.
But a day early, a group of advocates and educators in central Texas came together to pursue an entirely different approach to improving school attendance. About 200 education, business and community leaders gathered in Austin to learn the results of a study of why absences occur, where they are concentrated and what can be done to reduce them.