Preschool Truancy Measure Heads to Iowa Governor

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill approved by the Legislature and headed to Gov. Terry Branstad would give school districts more authority in dealing with parents who enroll their children in the state's voluntary preschool program but then fail to bring the youths to class.

The measure would allow school districts to require that children enrolled in preschool attend regularly. School boards could designate the number of days preschoolers must attend and reprimand parents of chronically absent children.

Supporters say the measure is needed because many districts have waiting lists for preschool. If parents enroll their children but don't bring them to school, they're still taking spots that could go to others.

The Department of Education has concerns about the bill, saying expanding compulsory attendance rules could make it harder to remove non-participating children.

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