LOS ANGELES (KCBS)— California State Attorney General Kamala Harris released her second-annual report on California’s truancy levels, which for the first time breaks the numbers down by race.
African-American students were truant at a rate over two-and-a-half times that of white students in California for the 2012-2013 school year, she said.
“At least one in five elementary school students in California were truant in the [last] school year,” Harris said about the overall numbers from an East Los Angeles elementary school on Friday.
Harris said for African-Americans, truancy rates were higher than that of even homeless students.
She blames the state for allowing this to happen by not tracking kids’ absences as they move between school districts.
“What we want is one system as a state where we track as a whole state and look at it so we can analyze the issue from a statewide perspective.”
A package of bills called Every Kid Counts would mandate just that. It’s still sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, but Harris said these new numbers should be reason enough for him to sign it.