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Document Number: 5906

Keeping Kids in School: The Impact of the Truancy Provisions in Washington’s 1995 “Becca Bill” - This report presents an analysis of the effectiveness of the Becca Bill, finding that implementation has resulted in a statistically significant increase in high school enrollment rates. The bill allows schools or parents to file a truancy petition with a county juvenile court if a student has five or more unexcused absences in a month; districts must file petitions if a student has seven unexcused absences in a month or 10 in one school year. Juvenile court judges have a number of options, including ordering the student to attend school or face possible incarceration in a juvenile detention center. An estimated 2,664 high school students are enrolled in high schools due to implementation of the bill, at a cost of $1,314 for each success. (Washington State Institute for Public Policy, October 2002)...

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