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New AZ Senate bill could change the punishment for students who skip school

The Senate education committee is advancing a bill that would change the punishment for students who skip school.

Right now, students who miss class without an excused absence can be suspended, causing them to miss even more school.

SB 1044 would move students suspended for nonattendance to another room in the building, keeping them at school doing work, but separated from their classmates. 

As a former administrator, Sen. Catherine Miranda has concerns about the idea. She said schools are already too short staffed and don’t have an extra body to monitor kids in other rooms.

“Why don’t we try to find the root cause of the problem with truancy," she said, "because there’s different situations at home. I think it’s our responsibility as educators to really find out what’s going on.”

Miranda and two others voted no. The bill is moving forward with four yes votes.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.