Honorable Tan Parker, Chair, House Committee on Corrections
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB1234 by Whitmire (Relating to the prevention of truancy and the offense of failure to attend school.), As Engrossed
The bill would amend Chapter 45, Code of Criminal Procedure, to require a school district, court, or juvenile probation department to employ or jointly employ with another appropriate governmental entity a case manager to provide case services for juveniles appearing before a court or for a student before the student is referred to a court for the offense of failure to attend school. School districts that employ an attendance officer would not be required to employ a case manager for these purposes. The bill would amend Chapter 25 of the Education Code to require school districts to adopt additional truancy prevention measures. The Class C misdemeanor offense for failure to attend school would be limited to a fine not to exceed $100. The bill would repeal Sections 25.085(e) and (f) of the Education Code regarding compulsory school attendance for persons aged 18 to 21.
The Comptroller of Public Accounts does not anticipate a significant fiscal impact on the state. According to the Office of Court Administration the bill is not anticipated to have a significant fiscal impact on the courts. No significant impact to criminal justice populuations is anticipated.
Local governments would be required to employ a case manager to provide case services for juveniles. Ward County estimates costs of $70,000 per year in salary and benefits to comply with this provision. Midland County reported that this cost would be partially offset in that county by a $5 court cost fee for juvenile case managers.
The bill would cap truancy fines at $100. Burleson, Burnet, Dallas, and Midland Counties reported that this provision would not have a significant fiscal impact.
There could be a negative impact of indeterminate degree to local juvenile probation departments related to increased supervision populations.
212 Office of Court Administration, Texas Judicial Council, 304 Comptroller of Public Accounts, 644 Texas Juvenile Justice Department
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