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State funding for local truancy officers now available

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State funding for local truancy officers now available
By Ashton Marra, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s 55 schools districts can now apply for state funding to help combat excessive absences in public schools.

The West Virginia Department of Education is accepting applications from county boards of education for funding to hire a local truancy diversion specialist.

Those county level specialists will work directly with students who have the highest number of absences, providing them individual attention to get them back in the classroom.

Diversion specialists will coordinate efforts between parents, schools and the court system to re-direct at-risk youth.

The Truancy Diversion Initiative is part of Governor Tomblin’s Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force compiled in the summer of 2014.

That task force recommended the state Legislature provide the funding for county level truancy specialists to help combat the issue statewide and raise achievement and graduation rates.