Spike In Truancy Cases Reported in Ector, Midland ISD

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - This school year, both school districts in Ector and Midland have seen a common trend. Their truancy numbers have been going up at a fast rate.

Last semester, Midland ISD had 718 cases filed on students that were truant and Odessa does not favor so well either, they had 1,000 truant cases filed. Scott Randolph with student assistance services, says the high numbers are becoming a concern.

"16 percent increase in the number of cases that we filed this year, so far, our attendance percent for semester one versus semester one last year is down point one percent so we are seeing a small decrease in attendance, so that is a concern," Randolph said.

Both school districts say there are some common factors as to why students are not showing up for class.

"A lot of it is parents are working long hours, not getting up to get the kids to school, the older kids just skipping school, wanting to drop out. Some of them are working jobs or just apathetic and don't want to go to school anymore," Randolph said.

Every time a student is truant it not only affect the student and their parents wallets, it also has a direct impact in the school district.

"It does affect the district financially also, districts are paid based on the number of students that attend so the more students that miss ,the less funding you get," Randolph said.

Dolores Cano is the Parent Engagement Coordinator for MISD she says, if a student is truant more than four times he or she will be cited but the parents could also be fined up to $500. Cano says before that happens they want to find ways to help the student stay on track.

"We are trying to do a lot of outreach with a parents to try to figure out what the cause is and how can we help them before they get to court," Cano said.

Both school districts say if a student continues to be truant it can potentially affect them from moving up to the next grade level or graduating, that's why parents should encourage their child to go to school and stay in school.