LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Should the City Council end police-issued truancy tickets and fines for non-serial offenders?
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports a new effort comes as students, parents and Los Angeles Unified school district officials have complained the penalties could have a negative effect on attendance.
City Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Mitch Englander heard from nearly 75 students along with their parents and teachers at a Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday.
Cardenas said the tickets and fines given to truant students and passed on to their parents are exorbitant and likely act as a a disincentive for kids to continue on to school if they are late.
“With curfew fines often costing more than $250 and requiring students and their families to miss additional time from school and work to go to court to resolve them, revising our current municipal code would substantially increase school attendance,” said Cardenas.
The amended code would require any student with a first or second offense to provide a court-approved plan to either maximize attendance or serve up to 20 hours of community service.
Any potential fines would also be limited to $180 including court costs under the proposal.
Carlos Morales, a University High school student and recent recipient of a $250 fine, said he would support the new code.
“That would be a better solution instead of wasting time and money,” he said. “For some people, we don’t have money, it would just be a waste of time.”
Cardenas and Englander are hoping to pass an amendment to the city’s current truancy ordinance out of the Public Safety Committee and put the measure before the full City Council by next week.