The Student Attendance Review Board (SARB), and Court Attendance Review Board (CARB) are composed of school and community members who meet regularly to diagnose and resolve persistent student attendance or behavior problems.
Definition of a Truant
The California Legislature defined a truant in very precise language. In summary, it states that a student missing more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year must be classified as a truant and reported to the proper school authority. This classification and referral helps emphasize the importance of school attendance and is intended to help minimize interference with instruction. Effective January 1, 2013, the law was amended to authorize school administrators to excuse school absences due to the pupil’s circumstances, even if the excuse is not one of the valid excuses listed in the California Education Code (EC) or the uniform standards established by the governing board of the district. The EC section that defines a truant reads as follows:
EC Section 48260:
(a) A pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, shall be classified as a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.
(b) Notwithstanding 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.
(c) For purposes of this article, a valid excuse includes, but is not limited to, the reasons for which a pupil shall be excused from school pursuant to Sections 48205 and 48225.5 and may include other reasons that are within the discretion of school administrators and, based on the facts of the pupil's circumstances, are deemed to constitute a valid excuse.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 432, Sec. 1. (AB 2616) Effective January 1, 2013.)
Definition of a Chronic Truant
EC Section 48263.6:
Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 10 percent or more of the schooldays in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with Sections 48260, 48260.5, 48261, 48262, 48263, and 48291.
(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 647, Sec. 1. (SB 1317) Effective January 1, 2011.)