Legal Question in Education Law in California

We were homeless for 2yrs and during that time our 13yr old son didn't attend school. we were constantly moving from motel to motel, city to city. In CA,28 day max per property. Compounding our situation, my husband is disabled and has multiple medical conditions. He was constantly being admitted into the hospital in critical condition. Staying for a week at a time in the Telemetry ICU unit. We recently got an apartment and finally have a stable foundation and address. I found a local online home study school to enroll our son, but have been dragging our feet. Scared of the repercussions and possible consequences. While completing the online registration, I got to the question asking for the date of when child last attended school. When I saw that the answer is required to enroll, my heart sank and haven't completed application. Are school administrators obligated to report child absence from school to Social Services? And if so can our son be taken away from us? Can i go jail?

Asked on 9/17/14, 3:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

James Goff James R. Goff, Attorney at Law

A child is required to attend school from age of six. A school district is required to report any circumstance that suggest a child may have been improperly cared for. A parent may be subject to jail for failure to have their child attend school. The risk is only increased by failure to have the child attend school. There is no guarantee that you are at risk of facing jail only that your situation is likely subject to review by public authorities.

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Answered on 9/18/14, 2:26 am

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