CHAPTER 9

HB 154 – FINAL VERSION

24Mar2009… 0213h

01/13/10 0083s

2010 SESSION

09-0222

04/01

HOUSE BILL 154

AN ACT relative to truancy.

SPONSORS: Rep. Stiles, Rock 15; Rep. L. Weber, Ches 2; Rep. B. Shaw, Hills 16; Rep. Moran, Hills 18; Rep. Welch, Rock 8

COMMITTEE: Education

ANALYSIS

This bill makes various changes to the laws on truancy.

This bill is a request of the committee to study the truancy laws established in 2008, 241 (HB 1161).

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

24Mar2009… 0213h

01/13/10 0083s

09-0222

04/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT relative to truancy.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

9:1 School Boards; Appointment of Truant Officers. Amend RSA 189:34 to read as follows:

189:34 Appointment.

I. School boards shall appoint truant officers for their districts.

II. School board policies on truancy shall include but not be limited to:

(a) A definition of “excused absence” and a process for considering exceptions to absences not otherwise excused.

(b) A process for intervention designed to address individual cases of truancy as quickly as possible and to reduce the number of habitual truants in the school district. The board shall provide for the participation of parents in the development of the policy. The policy shall include early parental involvement in the intervention process. The policy shall also designate an employee in each school as the person responsible for truancy issues.

9:2 School Boards; Truancy Defined. Amend RSA 189:35-a to read as follows:

189:35-a Truancy Defined.

I. For the purposes of this subdivision, “truancy” means an unexcused absence from school or class and “unexcused absence” is an absence [without parental or administrative permission] which has not been excused in accordance with RSA 189:34, II(a).

II. [Twenty] Ten half days of unexcused absence during a school year shall constitute habitual truancy.

III. A school district shall define the term “half day of absence.’‘

IV. Nothing in this section shall affect or limit a school district’s power to adopt bylaws concerning truancy pursuant to RSA 193:16.

V. Nothing in this section shall affect or limit the duties of a parent pursuant to RSA 193:1.

VI. School district attendance records shall be presumed to be true and accurate unless evidence to the contrary is presented.

9:3 School Boards; Duties. Amend RSA 189:36 to read as follows:

189:36 Duties.

I. Truant officers shall, when directed by the school board, enforce the laws and regulations relating to truants and children between the ages of [8] 6 and 18 years not attending school or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I(h); and the laws relating to the attendance at school of children between the ages of [8] 6 and 18 years; and shall have authority without a warrant to take and place in school any children found employed contrary to the laws relating to the employment of children, or violating the laws relating to the compulsory attendance at school of children under the age of 18 years, and the laws relating to child labor. No home school pupil nor any person between the ages of 6 and 18 who meets any of the requirements of RSA 193:1, I(c)-(h) shall be deemed a truant.

II. A truant officer or school official shall not file a petition alleging that the child is in need of services pursuant to RSA 169-D:2, II(a) until all steps in the school district’s intervention process under RSA 189:34, II have been followed.

9:4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Approved: May 7, 2010

Effective Date: July 6, 2010