This commentary originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on May 26, 2015.
The school year is wrapping up for students across Texas. Youths all over the state are preparing for exams or even graduation. Unfortunately, some students — and their families — are dealing with something very different: court dates and jail time.
Texas is a compulsory attendance state, which means that students are required to attend school up to the day that they turn 18. This rule has the best of intentions — encouraging children to attend school and finish their education — to prepare them for the world as an adult. Despite this, there are regrettable side effects.
Muldrow is a research associate with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.