Colorado Rights Blog

HB13-1021: Improving School Attendance

Student and Youth Rights
Bill Number: HB13-1021
Year: 2013
ACLU Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Fields/Hudak


The bill requires each school district to monitor student attendance and to identify:

  • each student who is chronically absent. A student ischronically absent if he or she is absent, excused or unexcused, for 10 percent or more of the school year;
  • each student who has a significant number of unexcusedabsences; and
  • each student who is habitually truant. A student ishabitually truant if he or she has 4 unexcused absences in one month or 10 unexcused absences in a school year.

If a student is chronically absent, the school district must implement best practices and research-based strategies to improve the
student's attendance.

If a student is habitually truant, the school district shall contact the local collaborative management group, juvenile support services group, or other local community services group to coordinate the creation of a multidisciplinary plan to improve the student's school attendance.

A school district shall initiate court proceedings to enforce school attendance requirements but only if implementation of the student's multidisciplinary plan is unsuccessful. If a school district initiates court proceedings, it must submit evidence of the student's attendance record and the efforts made to improve the student's attendance. If the court issues an order to compel attendance, the order must also require the parent and student to cooperate in implementing the multidisciplinary plan. Under current law, the court may sentence the student to detention if the student does not comply with the valid court order. The bill limits the term of detention to no more than 5 days.

Under current law, a person who is 17 years of age or older may take the GED. A student who is 16 years of age may take the GED, but only if the student provides evidence that the GED is necessary for the student to participate in an educational or vocational program. Under the bill, a student who is 16 years of age and who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court may take the GED if the judicial officer or administrative hearing officer finds it is in the student's best interest to do so.

The bill clarifies that a school district that is required to provide educational services to a juvenile detention facility shall provide the services for a number of hours that is comparable to the compulsory school attendance requirements and shall provide educational services that align with, and are designed to enable the juveniles to meet, the state model content standards.

Current Status:

03/13/2013 - Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Education
03/11/2013 - House Third Reading Passed
05/06/2012 - House Considered Senate Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass
02/04/2013 - House Committee on Education Refer Amended to Appropriations

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