California Education Codes

Below are the California Department of Education Codes that directly relate to truancy.

EDUCATION CODE 48200.  Each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years not exempted under the provisions of this chapter or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 48400) is subject to compulsory full-time education. Each person subject to compulsory full-time education and each person subject to compulsory continuation education not exempted under the provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 48400) shall attend the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the school day by the governing board of the school district in which the residency of either the parent or legal guardian is located and each parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the pupil shall send the pupil to the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full time designated as the length of the school day by the governing board of the school district in which the residence of either the parent or legal guardian is located.  Unless otherwise provided for in this code, a pupil shall not be enrolled for less than the minimum school day established by law.

EDUCATION CODE 48260.  (a) Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.  (b) Not withstanding subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature that school districts shall not change the method of attendance accounting provided for in existing law and shall not be required to employ period-by-period attendance accounting.

EDUCATION CODE 48260.5. Upon a pupil’s initial classification as a truant, the school district shall notify the pupil’s parent or guardian, by first-class mail or other reasonable means, of the following:  (a) That the pupil is truant.  (b) That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.  (c) That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 48290) of Chapter 2 of Part 27.  (d) That alternative educational programs are available in the district.  (e) That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil’s truancy.  (f) That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.  (g) That the pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of the pupil’s driving privilege pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code.  (h) That it is recommended that the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes with the pupil for one day.

EDUCATION CODE 48261. Any pupil who has once been reported as a truant and who is again absent from school without valid excuse one or more days, or tardy on one or more days, shall again be reported as a truant to the attendance supervisor or the superintendent of the district.

EDUCATION CODE 48262. Any pupil is deemed an habitual truant who has been reported as a truant three or more times per school year, provided that no pupil shall be deemed an habitual truant unless an appropriate district officer or employee has made a conscientious effort to hold at least one conference with a parent or guardian of the pupil and the pupil himself, after the filing of either of the reports required by Section 48260 or Section 48261.

EDUCATION CODE 48263. If any minor pupil in any district of a county is an habitual truant, or is irregular in attendance at school, as defined in this article, or is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school, the pupil may be referred to a school attendance review board or to the probation department for services if the probation department has elected to receive these referrals. The supervisor of attendance, or any other persons the governing board of the school district or county may designate, making the referral shall notify the minor and parents or guardians of the minor, in writing, of the name and address of the board or probation department to which the matter has been referred and of the reason for the referral. The notice shall indicate that the pupil and parents or guardians of the pupil will be required, along with the referring person, to meet with the school attendance review board or probation officer to consider a proper disposition of the referral.

If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services can resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, then the board or probation officer shall direct the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, to make use of those community services. The school attendance review board or probation officer may require, at any time that it determines proper, the pupil or parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, to furnish satisfactory evidence of participation in the available community services.  If the school attendance review board or probation officer determines that available community services cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil or if the pupil or the parents or guardians of the pupil, or both, have failed to respond to directives of the school attendance review board or probation officer or to services provided, the school attendance review board may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, or the probation officer may, pursuant to Section 48263.5, notify the district attorney, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in that section. If the district attorney or the probation office has not elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48263.5, the school attendance review board or probation officer may direct the county superintendent of schools to, and, thereupon, the county superintendent of schools shall, request a petition on behalf of the pupil in the juvenile court of the county. Upon presentation of a petition on behalf of a pupil, the juvenile court of the county shall hear all evidence relating to the petition. The school attendance review board or the probation officer shall submit to the juvenile court documentation of efforts to secure attendance as well as its recommendations on what action the juvenile court shall take in order to bring about a proper disposition of the case.

In any county which has not established a school attendance review board, if the school district determines that available community resources cannot resolve the problem of the truant or insubordinate pupil, or if the pupil or the pupil’s parents or guardians, or both, have failed to respond to the directives of the school district or the services provided, the school district, pursuant to Section 48260.6, may notify the district attorney or the probation officer, or both, of the county in which the school district is located, if the district attorney or the probation officer has elected to participate in the truancy mediation program described in Section 48260.6.