The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Abolish Chronic Truancy (ACT) program intervenes in the early stages of an elementary or middle school student’s truancy.
District Attorney staff members work directly with school administrators, teachers, parents and students to resolve problems that contribute to truancy and get students back in the classroom.
The goal of the program, which was created in 1991, is to help families understand and comply with school attendance laws to ensure that all children get the education they so vitally need to succeed in life.
The program uses a series of escalating interventions with students and their parents all designed to return the child to school. The consequences grow if parents fail to direct their child back to school. If a truant student’s attendance does not improve, a jail sentence may be imposed.
ACT provides a simple but effective approach to stopping truancy. Absences are tracked for students who are referred to the program for a year. In the year following the initial contact with the ACT program, truancy is cut in half on average.
ACT contacted more than 3,500 truants in Los Angeles County schools in the 2013-14 school year.
The program has demonstrated a consistent and unwavering high level of effectiveness year after year, studies have found.
ACT was mentioned in a 2013 state Attorney General’s Office report on truancy, which stated, “Chronically truant students who are referred to the ACT Program in Los Angeles County are improving their school attendance by eight full days within one year of referral.” Read the Attorney General’s report at http://oag.ca.gov/truancy.