Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #13-97
September 30, 2013
Contact: Jazmin Ortega
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Addresses Truancy Report

LOS ANGELES—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today after taking part in the release of California Attorney General Kamala Harris's report, "In School and on Track," examining the issue of truancy and absenteeism in California's elementary schools.

"Educators from individual classrooms to state government have known this basic truth for years: schools can have the very best facilities and materials in the world—but no school can reach and teach a child who simply isn't present to learn. I welcome the growing attention around chronic absence, because its implications are staggering. Our schools work every day to give students the tools they need to succeed, but it will take all of us—parents, law enforcement, health professionals, and more—working together to be sure students are there to receive them. Every missed school day is a missed opportunity."

Since taking office, Torlakson has convened two interagency forums focused on chronic absenteeism. His Department of Education (CDE) works daily with school districts on chronic absence, providing guidance and technical assistance in early intervention efforts to help students who may be at risk. CDE, along with The California Endowment, recently presented major workshops in Northern and Southern California focused on alternatives to out-of-school suspensions. Department officials are also presenting to the Administrative Office of the Courts and later to the Judicial Council of California on school attendance law and what the law enforcement community can do to help keep students in school.

Torlakson administers and coordinates the State School Attendance Review Board (SARB) with representatives of school districts, parent groups, county superintendents of schools, law enforcement agencies, the health care profession, and child welfare and attendance personnel. The State SARB has placed a major focus on monitoring chronic absentees and positive early interventions that keep students in the classroom. In 2010, Senate Bill 1357 sought to track chronic absence at the state level but included a provision that the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System—more commonly known as CALPADS—not be used to collect the data unless the federal government specifically appropriated funds for doing so.

# # # #

Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Recently Posted in News Releases

  • Audit of California Virtual Academies (added 23-Jun-2016)
    State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces Audit of California Virtual Academies.
  • Statement on Mass Murder in Orlando (added 13-Jun-2016)
    State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Releases Statement on Mass Murder in Orlando
  • Teacher Recruitment and Training Bills (added 08-Jun-2016)
    State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces Status of Teacher Recruitment and Training Bills at State Capitol.
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Diplomas (added 26-May-2016)
    State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces First High School Graduates with "Pre-Apprenticeship" Diplomas.
  • Graduation Rates (added 17-May-2016)
    State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reports New Record High School Graduation Rate and Sixth Consecutive Year of an Increase.

  • Students Have Begun CAASPP Testing (added 10-May-2016)
    State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reports More Than Two-Thirds of California's Eligible Students Have Begun CAASPP Testing
  • After School Funding Legislation (added 02-May-2016)
    State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Visits John F. Kennedy High School to Promote After School Funding Legislation.