Overview of Legal
This toolkit provides the legal framework and context for addressing compulsory attendance and truancy in Pennsylvania. The information presented will help schools develop an effective approach to truancy reduction. By becoming aware of and understanding the legal requirements concerning attendance and enforcement of compulsory attendance, school staff will be able to develop policies that are responsive to local concerns. Procedures should be established to ensure that the judicial and social service systems are used in the most effective, efficient and cooperative manner so that all students in Pennsylvania attend school regularly and become inspired and productive citizens.
The sections listed below are available on this website. Click on the Legislation menu link to the left to access each of the legislation items pertaining to truancy.
Basic Education Circular - The new Basic Education Circular was developed to facilitate a consistent statewide approach to truancy and absenteeism reduction.
Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949 - This is the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949 as it pertains to attendance, excuses from school and penalties for compulsory attendance requirements.
Title 22 Pa. Code, Chapter 11 - Provide general provisions for compulsory school age and admission to school, temporary absences, excusals from public school and other related regulations.
Title 22 Pa. Code, Chapter 12 - Provides guidance for implementation of K-12 student services to meet student needs.
Pa. Code, Basic Education Circulars, 24 P.S., Section 13-1301 - Relates to enrollment of students.
The Juvenile Act - Defines a “dependent” child as it relates to truancy.
The Public Welfare Code, Title 55 Pa. Code, Chapter 3130 - This section of the Public Welfare Code provides the responsibilities regarding administration of County Children and Youth Social Service Programs.
Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law - Pennsylvania's law as it relates to services for truant students.
P.S. 13-1333, Act 29 of 1995 - Describes the penalties for violation of compulsory attendance requirements.
18 PA CS, PA Crimes Code - The code as it relates to truancy and the corruption of minors.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) - Outlines the need for collection of information on truancy rates as described in No Child Left Behind legislation.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB): Reporting Requirements for Truancy Rates -
The Uniform Management Information and Reporting System (UMIRS)
provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) require that states
collect and report data on “truancy rates” at the school level.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - Addresses the privacy issues that must be considered by schools when dealing with student records and issues involving attendance and truancy.