On August 24, 2018 Patricia Hollinger, PDE’s Administrative/Fiscal Officer for the Office for Safe Schools, released a memo via PennLink from Matthew Stem, Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, titled Amendments to compulsory attendance and truancy laws through Act 39 of 2018.
The memo informs school entities that Act 39 of 2018 (Act 39), which was signed into law on June 22, 2018, includes multiple amendments to the Pennsylvania Public School Code (School Code) and several of those amendments are related to compulsory attendance and truancy laws. The definition of “educational entity” in Section 1326 of the School Code was also amended.
Importantly, because of the changes made to the compulsory attendance and truancy laws through Act 39, each charter school, including each regional charter school and cyber charter school, is solely responsible for enforcing the compulsory attendance laws in accordance with the School Code as they relate to students enrolled in the charter school. Charter school responsibilities include ensuring that students and parents/guardians comply with compulsory attendance laws, ensuring that truancy prevention and elimination efforts are implemented, and taking appropriate action when a student enrolled in the charter school is habitually truant. Additionally, a charter school must develop an attendance policy.
The memo can be read in its entirety by visiting the PAPSA website at http://papsa-web.org/wp-content/uploads/Amendments-to-compulsory-attendance-and-truancy-laws-through-Act-39-of-2018.pdf