Education News

Fort Bend County Independent School District Suspends Truancy Program

This after reports its policies were among the strictest in Texas in addressing students who frequently miss class.

The Fort Bend County Independent School District has suspended its truancy program after reports that its policies were among the strictest in the state. Fort Bend and Dallas are the only counties in Texas to have dedicated truancy courts.

In a letter to parents Monday (which can be read below), Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre announced he will suspend the program and conduct a review of the district’s truancy policy, and hold two community meetings for feedback.

State Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston requested the U.S. Department of Justice open an investigation into racial disparity in Texas truancy cases. The Justice Department has agreed to look into the matter.

 

Dear Parents,

I am writing today with an important update regarding Fort Bend ISD’s truancy prevention efforts. As many of you are aware, the way our District enforces the state’s compulsory attendance laws has been the subject of many conversations over the last few months.

After listening to a variety of community voices around this important issue, we have determined we must perform a complete review of the District’s truancy procedures. Therefore, we are immediately suspending our existing truancy procedures, including referring students to truancy court, while this review is conducted.

As a public school district, Fort Bend ISD is here to support every one of our students and help them prepare for the future. Our responsibility is huge. We are entrusted with shaping tomorrow’s leaders by equipping them with the tools necessary to succeed. This is task we take on proudly, because we know its importance – and because of the strong belief that all students can reach their full potential.

To achieve our mission, we know that students must be present and actively engaged in their learning. Over the years, we developed a truancy prevention program that is designed to serve our students and abide by the state attendance laws. With the recent expressed concerns about the way FBISD handles truancy matters, we believe it will be in the best interest of our students and the community for us to re-examine aspects of the system that might need to be improved.

Currently, our state lawmakers are considering legislation that could potentially impact the way school districts throughout the state deal with truancy. I assure you that whatever decision is made, we will develop a system to not only comply, but also better support our students.

As previously announced, we will begin discussing efforts to help all of children succeed during community meetings on May 13 and May 20. To make a difference, our schools and community must work together. I look forward to our continued partnership in your child’s education, and our continued conversations about what matters most – our students.

Sincerely,

Charles Dupre

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Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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