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    Research suggests that a majority of nation’s high school students will successfully complete high school and receive a high school diploma or their GED. Unfortunately, some students, for whatever reason, fall through the cracks and begin a downward spiral that ultimately leads to dropping out of school. Truancy has been identified as one of the early warning signs that youth are headed for failure. There is a tremendous ripple effect that impacts a community many years later after a child becomes truant and drops out of school.

    1. The truant misses an opportunity to get a quality education to better him or herself.
    2. The school district loses revenue each time a child misses instruction. Dollars that would have otherwise been spent on children in schools in Tarrant County school districts.
    3. Truants who have nothing better to do tend to break the law and become a problem for neighborhoods and law enforcement.
    4. Companies base their decisions to locate in certain areas based on the number of college graduates.

    The Office of Commissioner Brooks has partnered with Fort Worth, Everman, Crowley, Arlington and many other Tarrant County school districts as well as Juvenile Services and Justices of the Peace to combat the issue of truancy. In particular, Tarrant County has developed a plan called: “Truancy Solutions – A Collaborative Plan for Schools, Police Departments, Community Agencies and Juvenile Justice System.”

    In 2014-2015, the Truancy Solutions plans to accomplish the following:

    • Continue ongoing meetings with members of the Truancy Solutions planning committee, individually or in conjunction with the Tarrant County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, related to updates from their communities and/or districts.
    • The establishment a countywide summit to provide updates on truancy initiatives, including each section of the Truancy Solutions Plan -- Prevention, Intervention and Management.
    • The establishment of separate meetings at Tarrant County College Campuses, addressing selected best practices related to truancy obtained from the Truancy Solutions Plan and/or updates on programs that are in progress.
    • Follow up on the October 2013 Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee meeting, addressing truancy, school attendance and how truancy relates to human trafficking.  Representatives from Tarrant County school districts and area law enforcement agencies attended the meeting. The next step is the development of a countywide human trafficking forum.
    • Follow-up meetings with the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) related to truancy updates, including truancy court, community surveys, as well as policies and practices..
    • Continue and expand partnership with FWISD Attendance Court. The mission of the court is to provide a setting that will ensure a timely referral to the court for the consistent and equitable disposition of truancy cases. As a component of the comprehensive truancy intervention program (CTIP), the court was the first school attendance court established in the State of Texas. The CTIP has been a collaborative effort between FWISD, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County Juvenile Probation Department and Lena Pope Home. The court is located on the campus of Eastern Hills High School (located at: 5701 Meadowbrook Drive).