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New Report Calls Texas’ Truancy Policies Flawed And Unfair

AUSTIN — A new report calls truancy policies in Texas a “flawed and inequitable patchwork” that led to the criminal prosecution of 115,000 children for not going to school in 2013.

The analysis by Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, was released Thursday. It says Texas lawmakers should decriminalize truancy, which is an unexcused absence from school. It also calls for lightening laws that send students aged 12 and older to adult criminal courts.

Texas Appleseed Executive Director Deborah Fowler said there was a “one-size-fits-all approach in Texas, and that’s exactly what all the research says does not work.”

Texas legislators have already filed more than a dozen bills addressing truancy. The decriminalization of truancy has the support of the Texas Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, Nathan Hecht, and the Texas Judicial Council. (AP)