FAIRFIELD — As the Solano County Truancy Court approaches its second anniversary, the numbers of parents referred to school attendance review boards and to truancy court are growing.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to Solano County District Attorney Donald du Bain and county Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck.
In a press release sent out Tuesday, du Bain and Speck said that school attendance is up and truant students “are getting the support and consequences they need.”
The truancy court was established as a joint venture between the District Attorney’s Office, the Solano County Office of Education and Solano County Superior Court. Since its inception in October 2011, Truancy Court has heard the cases of 81 parents who were referred by the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution for their children’s excessive, unexcused absences from elementary school, according to the release.
Of those 81 parents, 34 parents have succeeded in helping to improve their children’s attendance records so significantly that their cases were dismissed, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Only 10 parents were unsuccessful in meeting the court’s requirements and were fined $450 each.
If their children continue to miss school without valid excuses, those parents will face even greater penalties in the future, the press release said.
The remaining 37 parents’ cases are still pending, with 15 cases scheduled to be heard at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Department 25 in Fairfield, the courtroom of Judge Robert Fracchia.
Du Bain said in the release that keeping children in school is a form of crime prevention.
“If a child does not graduate from high school, he or she is eight times more likely to end up in jail or prison than those children who do graduate,” he said.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.
This version corrects the day the cases will be heard in Solano County Truancy Court.