Austin, Texas
                    FISCAL NOTE, 77th Regular Session
                              April 11, 2001
          TO:  Honorable Teel Bivins, Chair, Senate Committee on
        FROM:  John Keel, Director, Legislative Budget Board
       IN RE:  SB1432  by West, Royce (Relating to truancy and the
               authority of justice and municipal courts in relation to
               children; providing criminal penalties.), Committee
               Report 1st House, Substituted
*  No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.        *
The bill would allow for an appropriation to reimburse the cost of
truancy case managers employed by local governments. The bill would also
authorize various local governmental bodies, including school district
boards of trustees, to employ a case manager to provide services in
truancy cases.  The same entities would be authorized to apply to the
governor's office for funds to reimburse all or part of the costs of
hiring truancy case managers from funds appropriated or otherwise
available for that purpose.

The cost of this reimbursement would depend on the amount of funds
appropriated for this purpose, and the requests granted by the
governor's office that would be paid from appropriated funds.
Local Government Impact

The bill would require a school district to notify a student's parent in
writing if the student has been absent without excuse ten or mores day
within a six-month period or three times within a four-week period and
request a conference between school officials and the student's parent to
discuss the absences.  Current law requires written notice if five
unexcused absences occur within a six-month period.  Current law does not
contain a requirement for a conference between school officials and
parents.  However, the Texas Education Agency has indicated that such
conferences are not unusual.

Section 4 of the bill would reduce the number of unexcused absences
needed to trigger a written notice to parents and require a conference
between school officials and parents.  Assuming that about 2% of absences
are unexcused, data from school year 1999-2000 indicate that over the
course of a school year, school districts would be required to notify and
hold conferences with the parents of about 77,000 students.  Applying
current law requirements of a notice after five unexcused absences in a
six-month period, the same data indicate that the parents of about 40,000
students would be notified.

If it is assumed that conferences are currently conducted for about 50%
of the 40,000 students notified under current law, about 57,000
additional conferences would have to be held under this bill each year.
Assuming that such a conference (including meeting time, preparation and
documentation time) would require about 45 minutes of an assistant
principal's time and 45 minutes of an attendance officer's time, the
workload associated with this requirement would represent an additional
29 assistant principals and 29  attendance officers statewide.  The
associated salary costs for these employees would be about $2.7 million
Source Agencies:   665   Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, 701
                   Texas Education Agency, 301   Office of the Governor
LBB Staff:         JK, CT, JC, RN