The Facts

* In the 2012 fiscal year, FTAS made up the nearly 34% of all Class C misdemeanor citations issued in the state.

* In that same year, roughly one-third of all FTAS charges were filed in Dallas County's truancy court; a county that contains under 10% of the state’s population.

* Under current law, students can be issued a limitless number of three-day out-of-school suspensions with no recourse.


* Remove the criminalization of FTAS from section 25.094 of the Texas Education Code and allow individual schools and districts to handle truancy matters internally. If legislators wish to retain the criminal/financial penalty, the burden should be kept on the parent or guardian under 25.093.

* Mandate that school districts handle all non-criminal disciplinary matters with interventions that do not involve court referrals.

* Change suspension and expulsion decisions from mandatory to discretionary.  

* Study the effectiveness of alternative truancy and delinquency prevention programs, such as those in place in Williamson County ISD, Fort Bend County ISD, and Arlington ISD. Incentivize the use of programs that are effective in keeping youth in school and preventing delinquency.

* Prioritize restorative justice-oriented programs such as peer mediation over formalized case handling for minor school-based offenses.

* Repeal state law allowing out-of-school suspension as a punishment for truancy. Allow students and parents to appeal truancy-oriented suspicion decisions after six cumulative days.