collins 041321SPRINGFIELD – Schools would be required to maintain consistent truancy policies and communicate them to parents annually under a plan from State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), which passed a Senate committee Tuesday and is set to be debated before the full Senate.

“Studies conducted in recent years have shown again and again that absences are a major barrier to educating so many of our students, and that the reasons they occur are complex,” Collins said. “The first step in addressing this has to be establishing truancy policies that are clearly communicated to families. We must be compassionate and consistent in how we approach absences.”

The legislation came about due to recommendations from the Illinois Attendance Commission, which studies chronic absenteeism and truancy in schools. The number of chronically truant students in Illinois schools, who are defined as students who miss nine or more school days a year without a valid excuse such as an illness or the need to care for a family member, has increased in recent years, from about 9% in 2015 to 13% in 2019.

Senate Bill 605 passed the Senate Education Committee today and is scheduled for consideration before the full Senate.