Rep. Acosta’s truancy measure passes House
This week the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that includes an amendment designed to omit the records of students with minor school attendance issues.
Written by State Rep. Leslie Acosta, the amendment to bill H.B. 1907 would allow a student to petition a magisterial district court or a common pleas court to have their summary truancy convictions expunged from their record.
This amendment would only apply if the student does not have more than two summary truancy convictions; the student has graduated from high school or obtained an equivalent diploma; and the student has satisfied any associated court sentence, including the payment of fines and costs.
“I certainly believe truancy is a serious issue, but many times, a summary truancy violation on a student’s record can limit their ability to enroll in college or post-secondary schooling, find a job or locate housing,” Acosta said in a press release.
She added that many of them never have further run-ins with the law and said schools should focus on intervention efforts with students and families to help prevent truancy in the first place.
“According to a recent Juvenile Law Center study, data shows that most young people who have summary convictions for nonviolent offenses, such as truancy, typically mature and learn from these mistakes as they move into adulthood,” Acosta said. “We don’t want to punish these students for life.”