Thurmond, Torlakson Highlighted $35 Million to Combat Chronic Absenteeism in Schools

Press Release   ·   Link to Article

Thurmond’s Bill AB 1014 Generates $35 Million for Schools

Richmond – This morning Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Superintendent of West Contra Costa Unified School District Matt Duffy, and Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe discuss the passage and implementation of AB 1014.  AB 1014, the Learning Communities for School Success Program, was signed into law last year. This year 34 school districts and local county offices of education from across the state received grants totaling over $35 million.  

 “AB 1014 keeps kids in school and out of the criminal justice system,” said Thurmond.  “I am extremely happy that schools across the state that received these grants will be given the autonomy and flexibility to use the resources to keep their students in the classroom.”

It is widely recognized that students with chronic school attendance problems are at a greater risk of dropping out of school, leading to greater contact with the criminal justice system. Adults who were chronically truant from schools as students are more likely to be incarcerated.  Studies show only 17 percent of chronically absent kindergarteners and first graders in California read proficiently by 3rd grade; students who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.

“Good attendance is so important to students’ success,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “That’s why this funding is critical. Schools can use the money to help identify students who are chronically absent, work to find out why, and develop early intervention programs to keep students in school.”

The Learning Communities for Schools Success Program requires the California Department of Education to administer grants local school districts or local education offices to implement programs and services that further the purpose of Proposition 47, which is to improve outcomes by reducing truancy and supporting students who are at risk of dropping out of school or becoming victims to crime. 

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.