Michigan policy adds incentive to get kids to school
A new policy is linking truancy and welfare benefits.
It's simple. If a child misses too much school, families risk losing their benefits.
It takes effect in less than a week and school experts hope it gives parents and kids the boost they need to get to class.
In the Flint School District, getting kids to school can be a challenge. In 2011, one in five middle school students was absent each day.
School officials say families face many hurdles to get students in their seats.
"Some of the families are losing their housing and they don't have access to that bus stop they had before. They become displaced and don't know where to go for support so they can get their child to school," says Keiona Murphy of Flint Community Schools.
Beginning soon, these families will have to find a way to get their kids to school or risk losing welfare benefits.
A new Michigan policy cuts off government help if a child misses more than ten days of school.
"We would hope that wouldn't have to be the case. We dont' want to see familiess losing benefits," says Murphy.
School officials hope this policy serves as an added push not a penalty.
"We would hope that everyone's on the same page that we're making attendence a priority from the state level to the school level to the home level. It's important for students to be in school every day," says Murphy.
This policy goes into effect beginning October 1.
School officials say they hope to support families who are struggling to get their kids on the bus each morning.