Text: S.1708 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/24/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1708


To establish a grant program to prevent truancy, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 24, 2009

Ms. Klobuchar (for herself and Mrs. Hagan) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To establish a grant program to prevent truancy, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Student Attendance Success Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) LOCAL EDUCATIONAL AGENCY.—The term “local educational agency” has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(2) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Education.

(3) STATE EDUCATIONAL AGENCY.—The term “State educational agency” has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(4) TRUANCY.—The term “truancy” has the meaning given the term in section 4112(c)(3)(E) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7112(c)(3)(E)).

SEC. 3. Truancy Prevention Discretionary Grant Program.

(a) Grants Authorized.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary is authorized to award grants to State educational agencies to enable the State educational agencies to award subgrants to local educational agencies within the State to enable the local educational agencies to create programmatic initiatives aimed at keeping students in school, in order to improve academic achievement.

(2) DURATION.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—A State educational agency shall award subgrants under this section for a period of 3 years.

(B) RENEWAL.—A State educational agency may award a subgrant to a local educational agency under this section for an additional 3 year period if the report submitted by the local educational agency under subsection (d) for the preceding 3-year subgrant period demonstrates documented improvement in keeping students in school.

(3) AWARD BASIS.—A State educational agency shall award subgrants under this section on a competitive basis, taking into consideration the needs of local educational agencies serving schools with a history of high levels of truancy among students in grades 5 through 9.

(b) Application.—

(1) STATE APPLICATION.—Each State educational agency desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may reasonably require.

(2) LOCAL APPLICATION.—Each local educational agency desiring a subgrant under this section shall submit an application to the State educational agency at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the State educational agency may reasonably require.

(3) LOCAL APPLICATION CONTENTS.—Each application submitted under paragraph (2) shall—

(A) demonstrate a documented history of significant truancy in grades 5 through 9 in the schools served by the local educational agency;

(B) describe the activities for which assistance under this section is sought; and

(C) provide such additional assurances and information as the State educational agency determines to be essential to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section, including strategies that the local educational agency will use to address issues such as a supportive school climate and the extent to which students feel connected to the school and attached to not less than 1 caring adult at the school.

(c) Use of Funds.—A local educational agency receiving a subgrant under this section shall, to the extent practicable, use the subgrant funds to partner with a community-based organization to create programmatic initiatives aimed at keeping students in school.

(d) Reporting Requirement.—Each local educational agency receiving subgrant funds under this section shall submit a report to the State educational agency on the local educational agency's performance of the activities described in subsection (c).

(e) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010 and each of the 5 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 4. National Resource Center for Positive Youth Development and School Success.

(a) Center.—From amounts appropriated under subsection (d), the Secretary shall award a grant to an eligible nonprofit organization to provide for the establishment and operation of a National Resource Center on Positive Youth Development and School Success (referred to in this section as the “Center”).

(b) Eligible organization.—In order to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an organization shall have a history of, and expertise in, carrying out the functions described in subsection (c).

(c) Functions.—The Center established under subsection (a) shall—

(1) provide evidence-based resources, publications, and training to State educational agencies and local educational agencies on the positive relationships, opportunities, and skills that students need to succeed in school and avoid risky behavior, such as truancy;

(2) provide a free information service, using print, electronic media, and the Internet, for schools, principals, school officers, parent-teacher associations, and community groups, relating to incorporating developmental assets, supports and strengths into existing school curriculum, programs, and services; and

(3) conduct and publish research on the relationship between a whole child approach to youth development and school success, including academic achievement and retention of the teaching force.

(d) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010 and each of the 5 succeeding fiscal years.

SEC. 5. National Definition of Truancy.

Section 4112(c)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7112(c)(3)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (F); and

(2) by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following:

    “(E) TRUANCY RATE DATA COLLECTION.—

    “(i) IN GENERAL.—For the purposes of collecting the information described in subparagraph (B)(i), the term ‘truancy’ means each absence of a student who is required by State law to attend elementary school or secondary school from such school for the time period described in clause (ii) without an excuse described in clause (iii).

    “(ii) TIME PERIOD.—The time period referred to in clause (i) is—

    “(I) 3 consecutive school days in the case of a child enrolled in elementary school; and

    “(II) 3 or more class periods on each of 3 consecutive school days in the case of a child enrolled in middle or secondary school.

    “(iii) EXCUSED ABSENCES.—An excuse referred to in clause (i) is—

    “(I) an excuse by a parent of the student that is approved by the school administrator in charge; or

    “(II) permission from a teacher or administrator in charge.

    “(iv) LIMITATIONS.—An absence described in clause (i) shall not be considered truancy—

    “(I) unless the absence was reviewed by a school official and determined to be unexcused; or

    “(II) if the absence is caused by a school decision to remove a student from the school and deny the student attendance for any length of time.”.