WV Legislature: Truancy One of Interim Topics for Lawmakers
A Putnam County delegate says any changes state officials make will not fix West Virginia’s truancy problems if no one holds the chronically absent or late students accountable.
“Somebody in authority, an adult, has to care whether that child goes to school or not,“ Putnam County Delegate Brady Paxton, a longtime teacher and coach, said.
He was part of a legislative committee meeting on Tuesday at the State House that involved Assistant State Schools Superintendent Amelia Courts.
During that meeting, Courts went through a list of steps the state Board of Education is taking or plans to take to make sure students are in class.
Courts says truancy is a big problem that can lead to other, larger issues if students who miss a lot of school eventually drop out for good. That’s why, she says, attendance is so important.
“A lot of these issues are multifaceted and they’re linked together,“ she said. “Am I absent because I’m not doing well in school? I’m disinterested. I’m not motivated. Am I not able to keep up because I’m absent?“
Lawmakers will be continuing to look at the truancy issue during interim meetings in the coming months. They’re requesting more student data.
Also on Tuesday, lawmakers looked at a bill that, if approved, would create the Shale Research, Education, Policy and Economic Development Center at West Virginia University.
Interim meetings wrap up Wednesday at the State Capitol.