Tuesday, December 04, 2007
sponsored by Illini Bank & Jake's Furniture

City: Truancy Ordinance Tabled With No Discussion

Goes Back to the Drawing Board

Send a link to a friend

[December 04, 2007]  There was no need for anyone to say anything. The size of the crowd -- huge -- spoke for itself. When it came time to put the truancy ordinance on the floor, ordinance chairman Marty Neitzel merely said, "I'd like to table this."

Citizens concerned about potential negative effects that a truancy ordinance might have on some children and parents have been trying work with the city on the ordinance.

For most of a year now the city has been trying to get a truancy ordinance on the books. The ordinance is intended to help school authorities keep more students in school.

Prior to any ordinance and still, schools operate and are regulated under the state school code, which does address truancy.

However, the state of Illinois passed a public act in July 2006 that would give counties and municipalities more ability to enforce the regulations locally and possibly bring chronic truants back into the classroom. Local ordinances could define a "truant" and add penalties for violators.

A group that is mostly composed of people who support home-schooling has been trying to work with the ordinance committee on a truancy ordinance. They have concerns about how the ordinance might affect them and their children. There have been concerns about how the regulations might affect the children when they are not inside the confines of a school building, as other children would be during school hours.

Also, they have considered and are concerned as to how implementation might be managed.

They worked with the county on writing the county ordinance. They would like to work with the council on how the city ordinance is written. Last week they presented an ordinance that the committee rejected.

At last week's committee meeting the group presented an ordinance, and another one just written by city attorney Bill Bates was presented. The one Bates wrote was based on information Alderman Neitzel received at a recent statewide conference. Neitzel had him custom-write the ordinance for Lincoln.

During Bates' evaluation of the differences between the group's proposed ordinance, the one he wrote and the one that the county passed, he commented that the county ordinance had gotten too diluted and would not be as effective.

[to top of second column]

The committee moved to recommend to the council the ordinance that Bates wrote. It was put on the agenda for Monday night's voting session.

This week the group was back, but it had grown about four of five times the size of last week's attendance -- big.

A few minutes into last night's meeting, the matter was opened. Neitzel immediately made a motion to table the matter. The council agreed by vote of 10-0.

No more was said.

The meeting continued to the next matter. Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman suggested that anyone who wanted to leave could at that time.

Most of the group filed out, a few stayed, and some came in from the overflow. Those who came in brought children and appeared interested in how the council would conduct the rest of their business.

Neitzel said after the meeting that an agreement had already been reached in advance of the meeting. She said that she and Regional Superintendent of Schools Jean Anderson would sit down with the group again to try to work out an ordinance agreeable to all. After the holidays, she added.


State of Illinois Public Act 094-1011 -- An act concerning truant minors

See: Logan County Truancy Ordinance, passed on July 17, 2007

Past related articles:

Past letter to the editor:

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor