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School Daze: A Proposal for Education Code Reform in California

23 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2011 Last revised: 18 May 2012

Elizabeth N. Jones

Western State College of Law

Date Written: April 8, 2011


Truancy is a tremendous problem in the state of California. The costs, both fiscal and social, associated with children who fail to comply with the state’s compulsory education laws are staggering. The unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming procedures that are encompassed in the current Education Code are ineffective, and do not provide any meaningful consequences for noncompliance. This article proposes an efficient and expedient procedural system in which to handle truancy issues. To begin, this article details the complexities and redundancies found in the current Education Code. It maintains that the educational window in a child’s life is small, and that accordingly, time is of the essence when addressing the matter of truancy. Next, this article explains how various counties and cities in the state are finding ways to subvert the Education Code, and it does so from a practitioner’s perspective. Finally, this article suggests a solution to this problem. It proposes eliminating portions of the current California Education Code dealing with truancy, and utilizing existing sections of the California Welfare and Institutions Code and the California Penal Code in their place. Not only would the government be relieved of the task of repetitively informing children that they must attend school, but it also would do away with the laws and procedures in place to remind parents of their role as parents. If parents are more actively involved in the raising of their children, including the task of requiring them to attend school regularly and on time, the government will save precious resources, and parents can assume a responsibility that they never should have surrendered to the state in the first place.

Keywords: Truancy, Truant, Juvenile, California Education Code, Children, Minor, Juvenile Delinquency, California

Suggested Citation

Jones, Elizabeth N., School Daze: A Proposal for Education Code Reform in California (April 8, 2011). 40 Sw. L. Rev. 425 (2011). Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth N. Jones (Contact Author)

Western State College of Law ( email )

1 Banting
Irvine, CA 92618
United States
1-714-459-1187 (Phone)

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