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  • Writer's pictureCenter for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA)

Legislative Spotlight: “School Attendance Amendment Act of 2021” (DC Council)

Tomorrow, the DC Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 24-428, the "School Attendance Amendment Act of 2021", which would provide for compulsory school attendance to clarify daily attendance. The District, over the decade, has worked to lower truancy and improve both overall school attendance and chronic absenteeism rates. The School Attendance Amendment Act 2021 aims to identify specific ways to permanently improve the trajectory of student participation in school.

The proposed draft of the School Attendance Amendment Act of 2021 states that required daily attendance will consist of a student being physically in attendance at their school for scheduled periods of actual instruction for at least 60 percent of the full instructional day. If not, the student needs to be in attendance at a school-approved activity that constitutes part of the school program. In addition, the bill would establish that delays in public transportation that equal to no more than ten percent of the instructional day is considered a valid excused absence.

The deadline to register to testify at the hearing has passed, however, if you want to submit written testimony for the record it can be done by emailing the testimony to or via voicemail by calling (202) 430-6948. Note that testimony left via voicemail has a limit of 3 minutes, which will be transcribed. The record will close at 5:00 pm on Friday, March 25, 2022. Testimony for this and other hearings can be read using this link to DC Council's dropbox account. The Committee of the Whole will hold the public hearing for this bill tomorrow March 11 at 1:00 pm. Those interested can view the hearing on the Committee of the Whole's YouTube Channel.



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