Fighting truancy

California’s battle against truancy may hit students where they live: in the wallet. One of state Senator Darrell Steinberg’s bills to fight truancy passed eight to one through the Senate Education Committee last week. This one ties work permits to attendance records and grade-point averages. Under the bill, a minor with a GPA of less then 2.0 or less than 80-percent attendance would be denied a work permit, and a pupil with a GPA of less than 2.5 or less than 90 percent attendance could work no more than 20 hours a week. But that’s not all. Permits would only be offered on the request of parents or guardians, and only after an authorized district employee had studied the student’s records and considered whether holding down a job could detract from academic performance.