In July it came to light the many District of Columbia Public Schools were barring students from coming to class, but weren’t recording the suspensions, resulting in inaccurate attendance data. While the schools in question plan an attendance audit, a complete audit on all DC schools is necessary. Street Sense recently spoke with Children’s Law Center about the concerns.
Sharra Greer is the policy director of the Children’s Law Center, one of the founding members of the coalition. She said an audit is necessary because the attendance data could be faulty in more than a few high schools.
“I don’t think we can say there has been a shift in a good direction based on this data when we have so much doubt about whether they’ve been reporting this information correctly,” Greer said.
In its statement, the coalition also calls on DCPS to place a moratorium on all truancy court referrals, which are based on unexcused absences. Greer said it’s possible children who should be suspended are currently being sent to the justice system instead.
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