Double standards are seldom a good thing, and that’s certainly true of a truancy bill being considered by the Illinois legislature.
The bill would double, to $1,000, the maximum fine for parents of special education students who are truant. The fine would remain $500 for everyone else.
Bob Daiber, the Madison County regional superintendent of schools, said special needs students are the most vulnerable and need to attend school to become functional members of society. But any child who doesn’t regularly attend is vulnerable and at risk. It makes no sense to single out one group.
The big red flag about this bill is that the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education oppose it. These are the administrators who work most closely with special education students and their families. They have the best sense of what would be beneficial to them and what would not.
If lawmakers want to increase the fine for parents who allow their students to be truant, by all means do so. Just do it for everyone equally.