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D.C. bill makes parents liable for missed school

Wednesday - 1/23/2013, 6:51am  ET

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Parents would receive written warnings after 10 unexcused absences. (Thinkstock)

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WASHINGTON - Parents could be charged if children miss too many school days under a bill proposed by a District of Columbia councilmember.

The bill was proposed Tuesday by Council member David A. Catania. The Washington Post reports the proposal calls for the Attorney General to prosecute parents if their child has 20 or more unexcused absences in a year. Four of the 13 members of the council are co-sponsoring the plan.

Parents would receive written warnings after 10 unexcused absences.

Catania says chronic truancy is child abuse and a crisis in the district. He says the district already has a rarely enforced elementary school law that can lead to up to five days in jail. Under Catania's bill, parents could be sentenced to parenting classes or community service.

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