The 2016 Washington State Legislature changed existing statute and added new provisions to decrease absenteeism and truancy in public K-12 schools, including the following:
- All school districts (except very small districts) and their corresponding juvenile courts must establish community truancy boards by the 2017-18 school year;
- Courts must implement an initial stay of truancy petitions and refer children and families to community truancy boards for assessment and intervention; and
- In cases where detention is deemed necessary, the law establishes a preference for placement in secure crisis residential centers or HOPE centers (as opposed to juvenile detention facilities).
The same bill directs WSIPP to evaluate the impacts of this act. A preliminary report on study methods and potential data gaps was published in December 2017
, and the final report will be published by January 1, 2021.