Real Reason Kindergarten and First Grade Chicago Kids are Truant

What is the real reason some Chicago little ones 5 and 6 years of age are truant.  

Maybe parents are afraid to send them to school in Chicago until they must, at 7 years of age.  Maybe it's a bad day around the schoolyard.

Senate Education Committee Vice-Chair, Kimberly Lightford, has presented another attempt [SB 1307] to lower the compulsory school attendance age to 5 years of age.  Senator Raoul, President Obama's hand-picked replacement, has tried this twice before.

From the Chicago Tribune reporters, Gary Marx and David Jackson:

The bill from Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, came in response to a Tribune investigation that found nearly 18 percent of Chicago kindergartners and first-graders were listed as chronic truants during the 2010-11 school year because they racked up nine or more days of unexcused absences.

The investigation, based on previously undisclosed city attendance data, also found that nearly 32,000 students in kindergarten through eighth grade — or roughly 1 in 8 — missed four weeks or more of class that year, while many vanished from school altogether.

The missed school days threaten the futures of children born into poverty and undermine Chicago Public Schools' efforts to boost academic achievement.

Maybe keeping them off the street keeps them alive.  

Fix the gang/illegal gun problem in Chicago.  "Almost like being in Vietnam" wouldn't make for good learning conditions when survival is key. Then present Chicago regulations leaving the rest of the state out of this corrupt scheme of things.  A Chicago friend of mine suggested I read There Are No Children Here. Some twenty years ago, the author, Alex Kotlowitz,  followed the lives of 2 little boys in Chicago's Henry Horner public housing.  That book was a moving, incredible documentary and highly recommended.  

I think much of the legislation touted by our public representatives is used to cover up the astonishing and heart-breaking urban problems with the false aura of do-goodness.  I think Senator Lightford's bill is more of the same.

As a troubling closer in this article and legislators' motivations, this comment came from Representative Chapa-LaVia, House Chair of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee in the Tribune article:

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, who is forming a top-level task force to address Chicago's K-8 truancy and absenteeism, told the Tribune that she strongly supports lowering Illinois' compulsory attendance age, although she could consider carving out an exemption for families who are home-schooling.

I would think Representative Chapa-LaVia would know plenty about homeschoolers by now and how we just like to be left alone.  She doesn't need to carve out anything for homeschoolers.  We're already exempt from the compulsory attendance statute.  But many of us have just been waiting.  So it begins.  The public voice: It's For The Kids. Away from the usual media, it's about the money.


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