Students who attend on a regular basis are more likely to experience academically as well as socially. There is no substitute for being in class learning from a highly qualified teacher while learning to engage appropriately with peers. Students who do not attend regularly struggle to keep up and lack the foundational skills necessary to demonstrate adequate academic growth from year to year. Students who miss more than 10 percent of a school year (18 or more days) are more likely to eventually struggle with illiteracy and get in trouble with the law. Research has shown there is a direct correlation between poor attendance beginning as early as kindergarten and dropping out of school prior to completing highschool.
School districts are funded based on what is called ADA. ADA is a monetary calculation that provides funds per day for every student that is physically attending school that day. The bottom line is that a school district with poor overall attendance will struggle financially and will not be able to provide additional resources to teachers.
Education Code 48205.
(a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
(1) Due to the pupil’s illness, including an absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health.
(2) Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
(3) For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.
(4) For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of the pupil’s immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
(5) For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
(6) Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent, including absences to care for a sick child, for which the school shall not require a note from a doctor.
(7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, attendance at a religious retreat, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization, when the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board of the school district.
(8) For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.
(9) For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Section 49701, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.
(10) For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
(11) For the purpose of participating in a cultural ceremony or event.
(12) Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.
(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
(c) For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Cultural” means relating to the habits, practices, beliefs, and traditions of a certain group of people.
(2) “Immediate family” means the parent or guardian, brother or sister, grandparent, or any other relative living in the household of the pupil.