PRESS RELEASE - March 19, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Pahl Shipley
(505) 476-2202

Governor Bill Richardson Announces $300,000 in Funding for Programs to Reduce Truancy in

New Mexico Schools

ALBUQUERQUE- Governor Bill Richardson announced today he has approved $300,000 in funding for programs around the state aimed at preventing truancy. The Governor's Truancy Prevention Program, initiated in 2003 by Governor Richardson, will provide the funding to 12 school districts and 2 charter schools.

“There is one overriding truth- if students don’t show up, they can’t learn,” said Governor Richardson. “Truant students won’t get the education they need, won’t make it to college, and won’t get the best paying jobs. That’s why this year, I signed a tough new law that cracks down on kids who are truant, and if the situation persists, holds parents who ignore their responsibilities accountable. The pilot programs we’re funding are designed to catch truancy problems before they get out of hand.”

The pilot programs are focused on students with between 3 and 7 unexcused absences during a 20-day reporting period. Districts and schools were funded for up to three program options: Up to $25,000 to establish model truancy prevention programs, up to $10,000 to develop school-based law enforcement programs, or up to $5,000 to create or enhance existing family centers to address truancy prevention.