Bill holding parents liable for kids' truancy may die

CONCORD – The Senate Education Committee voted to recommend killing a bill that would have held parents more accountable for making sure their children are attending school.

The committee unanimously voted SB 161 “inexpedient to legislate” earlier this week. The bill now moves on to the full Senate.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, would have allowed for fines or court-ordered counseling for parents who refuse to meet with school officials to discuss their children’s attendance issues.

There is another bill making its way through the legislature, HB 154, which also deals with student truancy. That bill, proposed by Rep. Nancy Stiles, R-Hampton, would require school districts to hire a full-time attendance officer. The bill would also define habitual truancy as 10 half-days of unexcused absences in one school year. Currently, it takes 20 half-days of unexcused absences.