P.S. 13-1333, Act 29 of 1995

Act 29 amended Section 1333 of the school code. It imposed stiffer penalties for truancy of all students. In summary, this Act includes:

1) A $300 fine, parent education classes and/or community service for parents of a truant child, if the parents cannot show they took reasonable steps to insure the child's school attendance.

2) The parent and child must appear at a hearing before the district justice.

3) Truant students may lose their driver's license for 90 days for a first offense and six months for a second offense.

4) Any child who does not have a driver's license shall be ineligible to apply for a learner's permit for a period of one year.

In addition, Act 98, a 1996 amendment to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, imposes new, harsher penalties against adults who assist in student truancy. In summary:

1) There is a maximum fine of $300 and up to 90 days in jail for an adult who aids, abets, entices or encourages a student (under age 18) to be truant from school. This is considered a summary offense.

Subsequent violations by such a person within one year of the prior offense constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail.

Further, Section 1333 penalties for violation of compulsory attendance requirements states that:

(4) Any child who has not attained the age of thirteen (13) years who fails to comply with the compulsory attendance provisions of this act and is habitually truant shall be referred by the school district for services or possible disposition as a dependent child as defined under 42 Pa. C.S. § 6302 (relating to definitions). Any child who has attained the age of thirteen (13) years who fails to comply with the compulsory attendance provisions of this act and is habitually truant may, in lieu of a prosecution under clause (1), be referred by the school district as defined under 42 Pa. C.S. § 6302