Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
7/21/2018

Article 1. Compulsory School Attendance.

§ 22.1-254. Compulsory attendance required; excuses and waivers; alternative education program attendance; exemptions from article.

A. As used in this subsection, "attend" includes participation in educational programs and courses at a site remote from the school with the permission of the school and in conformity with applicable requirements.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, every parent, guardian, or other person in the Commonwealth having control or charge of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday shall, during the period of each year the public schools are in session and for the same number of days and hours per day as the public schools, cause such child to attend a public school or a private, denominational, or parochial school or have such child taught by a tutor or teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the division superintendent, or provide for home instruction of such child as described in § 22.1-254.1.

As prescribed in the regulations of the Board of Education, the requirements of this section may also be satisfied by causing a child to attend an alternative program of study or work/study offered by a public, private, denominational, or parochial school or by a public or private degree-granting institution of higher education. Further, in the case of any five-year-old child who is subject to the provisions of this subsection, the requirements of this section may be alternatively satisfied by causing the child to attend any public educational pre-kindergarten program, including a Head Start program, or in a private, denominational, or parochial educational pre-kindergarten program.

Instruction in the home of a child or children by the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of such child or children shall not be classified or defined as a private, denominational or parochial school.

The requirements of this section shall apply to (i) any child in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Corrections who has not passed his eighteenth birthday and (ii) any child whom the division superintendent has required to take a special program of prevention, intervention, or remediation as provided in subsection C of § 22.1-253.13:1 and in § 22.1-254.01. The requirements of this section shall not apply to (a) any person 16 through 18 years of age who is housed in an adult correctional facility when such person is actively pursuing the achievement of a passing score on a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education but is not enrolled in an individual student alternative education plan pursuant to subsection E, and (b) any child who has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, a certificate of completion, or has achieved a passing score on a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education, or who has otherwise complied with compulsory school attendance requirements as set forth in this article.

B. A school board shall excuse from attendance at school:

1. Any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, "bona fide religious training or belief" does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code; and

2. On the recommendation of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the county or city in which the pupil resides and for such period of time as the court deems appropriate, any pupil who, together with his parents, is opposed to attendance at a school by reason of concern for such pupil's health, as verified by competent medical evidence, or by reason of such pupil's reasonable apprehension for personal safety when such concern or apprehension in that pupil's specific case is determined by the court, upon consideration of the recommendation of the principal and division superintendent, to be justified.

C. Each local school board shall develop policies for excusing students who are absent by reason of observance of a religious holiday. Such policies shall ensure that a student shall not be deprived of any award or of eligibility or opportunity to compete for any award, or of the right to take an alternate test or examination, for any which he missed by reason of such absence, if the absence is verified in a manner acceptable to the school board.

D. A school board may excuse from attendance at school:

1. On recommendation of the principal and the division superintendent and with the written consent of the parent or guardian, any pupil who the school board determines, in accordance with regulations of the Board of Education, cannot benefit from education at such school; or

2. On recommendation of the juvenile and domestic relations district court of the county or city in which the pupil resides, any pupil who, in the judgment of such court, cannot benefit from education at such school.

E. Local school boards may allow the requirements of subsection A to be met under the following conditions:

For a student who is at least 16 years of age, there shall be a meeting of the student, the student's parents, and the principal or his designee of the school in which the student is enrolled in which an individual student alternative education plan shall be developed in conformity with guidelines prescribed by the Board, which plan must include:

1. Career guidance counseling;

2. Mandatory enrollment and attendance in a preparatory program for passing a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education or other alternative education program approved by the local school board with attendance requirements that provide for reporting of student attendance by the chief administrator of such preparatory program or approved alternative education program to such principal or his designee;

3. Mandatory enrollment in a program to earn a Board of Education-approved career and technical education credential, such as the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or the Virginia workplace readiness skills assessment;

4. Successful completion of the course in economics and personal finance required to earn a Board of Education-approved high school diploma;

5. Counseling on the economic impact of failing to complete high school; and

6. Procedures for reenrollment to comply with the requirements of subsection A.

A student for whom an individual student alternative education plan has been granted pursuant to this subsection and who fails to comply with the conditions of such plan shall be in violation of the compulsory school attendance law, and the division superintendent or attendance officer of the school division in which such student was last enrolled shall seek immediate compliance with the compulsory school attendance law as set forth in this article.

Students enrolled with an individual student alternative education plan shall be counted in the average daily membership of the school division.

F. A school board may, in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 3 (§ 22.1-276.01 et seq.) of Chapter 14 and upon a finding that a school-age child has been (i) charged with an offense relating to the Commonwealth's laws, or with a violation of school board policies, on weapons, alcohol or drugs, or intentional injury to another person; (ii) found guilty or not innocent of a crime that resulted in or could have resulted in injury to others, or of an offense that is required to be disclosed to the superintendent of the school division pursuant to subsection G of § 16.1-260; (iii) suspended pursuant to § 22.1-277.05; or (iv) expelled from school attendance pursuant to § 22.1-277.06 or 22.1-277.07 or subsection C of § 22.1-277, require the child to attend an alternative education program as provided in § 22.1-209.1:2 or 22.1-277.2:1.

G. Whenever a court orders any pupil into an alternative education program, including a program preparing students for a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education, offered in the public schools, the local school board of the school division in which the program is offered shall determine the appropriate alternative education placement of the pupil, regardless of whether the pupil attends the public schools it supervises or resides within its school division.

The juvenile and domestic relations district court of the county or city in which a pupil resides or in which charges are pending against a pupil, or any court in which charges are pending against a pupil, may require the pupil who has been charged with (i) a crime that resulted in or could have resulted in injury to others, (ii) a violation of Article 1 (§ 18.2-77 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 18.2, or (iii) any offense related to possession or distribution of any Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances to attend an alternative education program, including, but not limited to, night school, adult education, or any other education program designed to offer instruction to students for whom the regular program of instruction may be inappropriate.

This subsection shall not be construed to limit the authority of school boards to expel, suspend, or exclude students, as provided in §§ 22.1-277.04, 22.1-277.05, 22.1-277.06, 22.1-277.07, and 22.1-277.2. As used in this subsection, the term "charged" means that a petition or warrant has been filed or is pending against a pupil.

H. Within one calendar month of the opening of school, each school board shall send to the parents or guardian of each student enrolled in the division a copy of the compulsory school attendance law and the enforcement procedures and policies established by the school board.

I. The provisions of this article shall not apply to:

1. Children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases while suffering from such diseases;

2. Children whose immunizations against communicable diseases have not been completed as provided in § 22.1-271.2;

3. Children under 10 years of age who live more than two miles from a public school unless public transportation is provided within one mile of the place where such children live;

4. Children between the ages of 10 and 17, inclusive, who live more than 2.5 miles from a public school unless public transportation is provided within 1.5 miles of the place where such children live; and

5. Children excused pursuant to subsections B and D.

Further, any child who will not have reached his sixth birthday on or before September 30 of each school year whose parent or guardian notifies the appropriate school board that he does not wish the child to attend school until the following year because the child, in the opinion of the parent or guardian, is not mentally, physically, or emotionally prepared to attend school, may delay the child's attendance for one year.

The distances specified in subdivisions 3 and 4 of this subsection shall be measured or determined from the child's residence to the entrance to the school grounds or to the school bus stop nearest the entrance to the residence of such children by the nearest practical routes which are usable for walking or riding. Disease shall be established by the certificate of a reputable practicing physician in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board of Education.

Code 1950, § 22-275.1; 1952, c. 279; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1968, c. 178; 1974, c. 199; 1976, cc. 681, 713; 1978, c. 518; 1980, c. 559; 1984, c. 436; 1989, c. 515; 1990, c. 797; 1991, c. 295; 1993, c. 903; 1996, cc. 163, 916, 964; 1997, c. 828; 1999, cc. 488, 552; 2000, c. 184; 2001, cc. 688, 820; 2003, c. 119; 2004, c. 251; 2006, c. 335; 2010, c. 605; 2012, cc. 454, 642; 2014, c. 84; 2017, c. 330; 2018, cc. 486, 585.

§ 22.1-254.01. Certain students required to attend summer school or after-school sessions.

The division superintendent may seek immediate compliance with the compulsory school attendance law as set forth in § 22.1-254 after a reasonable effort to seek the student's attendance in the summer school program or after-school session has failed, including direct notification of the parents of such student of the attendance requirement and failure of the parents to secure the student's attendance, when:

1. A student is required to take a special program of prevention, intervention, or remediation in a public summer school program or to participate in another form of remediation as provided in subsection C of § 22.1-253.13:1 and in accordance with clause (ii) of subsection A of § 22.1-254; and

2. The division superintendent determines that remediation of the student's poor academic performance, passage of the Standards of Learning Assessment in grades three through eight, or promotion is related directly to the student's attendance in the summer school program or participation in another form of remediation.

1996, c. 163; 1997, cc. 466, 828; 1998, cc. 602, 627, 902; 1999, cc. 488, 552; 2006, cc. 41, 834.

§ 22.1-254.02. Students transferring from a public school.

When a student transfers from a school division, such school division to the extent practicable, shall obtain written or electronic documentation of such transfer, in order to make an informed status classification of such student in an information management system prescribed by the Board of Education.

2008, c. 422.

§ 22.1-254.1. Declaration of policy; requirements for home instruction of children.

A. When the requirements of this section have been satisfied, instruction of children by their parents is an acceptable alternative form of education under the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any parent of any child who will have reached the fifth birthday on or before September 30 of any school year and who has not passed the eighteenth birthday may elect to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance if he (i) holds a high school diploma; (ii) is a teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education; (iii) provides the child with a program of study or curriculum which may be delivered through a correspondence course or distance learning program or in any other manner; or (iv) provides evidence that he is able to provide an adequate education for the child.

B. Any parent who elects to provide home instruction in lieu of school attendance shall annually notify the division superintendent in August of his intention to so instruct the child and provide a description of the curriculum, limited to a list of subjects to be studied during the coming year, and evidence of having met one of the criteria for providing home instruction as required by subsection A. Effective July 1, 2000, parents electing to provide home instruction shall provide such annual notice no later than August 15. Any parent who moves into a school division or begins home instruction after the school year has begun shall notify the division superintendent of his intention to provide home instruction as soon as practicable and shall thereafter comply with the requirements of this section within 30 days of such notice. The division superintendent shall notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the number of students in the school division receiving home instruction.

C. The parent who elects to provide home instruction shall provide the division superintendent by August 1 following the school year in which the child has received home instruction with either (i) evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test, or an equivalent score on the ACT, SAT, or PSAT test or (ii) an evaluation or assessment which the division superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress, including but not limited to (a) an evaluation letter from a person licensed to teach in any state, or a person with a master's degree or higher in an academic discipline, having knowledge of the child's academic progress, stating that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress or (b) a report card or transcript from an institution of higher education, college distance learning program, or home-education correspondence school.

In the event that evidence of progress as required in this subsection is not provided by the parent, the home instruction program for that child may be placed on probation for one year. Parents shall file with the division superintendent evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education for their child in compliance with subsection A and a remediation plan for the probationary year which indicates their program is designed to address any educational deficiency. Upon acceptance of such evidence and plan by the division superintendent, the home instruction may continue for one probationary year. If the remediation plan and evidence are not accepted or the required evidence of progress is not provided by August 1 following the probationary year, home instruction shall cease and the parent shall make other arrangements for the education of the child which comply with § 22.1-254. The requirements of subsection C shall not apply to children who are under the age of six as of September 30 of the school year.

D. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a pupil and his parents from obtaining an excuse from school attendance by reason of bona fide religious training or belief pursuant to subdivision B 1 of § 22.1-254.

E. Any party aggrieved by a decision of the division superintendent may appeal his decision within 30 days to an independent hearing officer. The independent hearing officer shall be chosen from the list maintained by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court for hearing appeals of the placements of children with disabilities. The costs of the hearing shall be apportioned among the parties by the hearing officer in a manner consistent with his findings.

F. School boards shall make Advanced Placement (AP), Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), and PreACT examinations available to students receiving home instruction pursuant to this section. School boards shall adopt written policies that specify the date by which such students shall register to participate in such examinations. School boards shall notify such students and their parents of such registration deadline and the availability of financial assistance to low-income and needy students to take such examinations.

G. No division superintendent or local school board shall disclose to the Department of Education or any other person or entity outside of the local school division information that is provided by a parent or student to satisfy the requirements of this section or subdivision B 1 of § 22.1-254. However, a division superintendent or local school board may disclose, with the written consent of a student's parent, such information to the extent provided by the parent's consent. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a division superintendent from notifying the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the number of students in the school division receiving home instruction as required by subsection B.

1984, c. 436; 1986, c. 215; 1991, c. 306; 1992, c. 131; 1993, c. 992; 1994, c. 854; 1998, c. 435; 1999, cc. 488, 552; 2005, c. 377; 2006, cc. 562, 567, 911, 932; 2008, cc. 364, 553; 2012, cc. 547, 587; 2015, cc. 567, 590, 592; 2016, c. 640; 2017, cc. 302, 334; 2018, c. 516.

§ 22.1-254.2. Testing for high school equivalency; eligibility; guidelines.

A. The Board of Education shall establish a program of testing for high school equivalency through which a person may pass a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education through which persons may earn a high school equivalency certificate or may earn a diploma as provided in subsection F of § 22.1-253.13:4. The following persons may participate in the testing program:

1. Persons who are at least 18 years of age and not enrolled in public school or not otherwise meeting the school attendance requirements set forth in § 22.1-254;

2. Persons 16 years of age or older who have been instructed by their parents in their home pursuant to § 22.1-254.1 and who have completed such home school instruction;

3. Persons who have been excused from school attendance pursuant to subsections B and D of § 22.1-254;

4. Persons for whom an individual student alternative education plan has been granted pursuant to subsection E of § 22.1-254;

5. Persons 16 through 18 years of age who are housed in adult correctional facilities and who are actively pursuing a passing score on a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education but who are not enrolled in an individual student alternative education plan pursuant to subsection E of § 22.1-254;

6. Persons 16 years of age or older who have been expelled from school pursuant to §§ 22.1-277.06 through 22.1-277.08; and

7. Persons required by court order to participate in the testing program.

Under no circumstances shall persons under the age of 16 be eligible for the testing program.

B. From such funds as may be appropriated for this purpose, local school boards shall implement programs of preparation and testing for high school equivalency consistent with guidelines to be developed by the Board of Education. Such guidelines shall include a provision that allows preparatory and testing programs to be offered jointly by two or more school boards.

1989, c. 225; 1997, c. 458; 1999, cc. 488, 552; 2003, c. 688; 2004, cc. 251, 939, 955; 2006, c. 335; 2010, c. 605; 2014, c. 84.

§ 22.1-255. Nonresident children.

Any person who has residing with him for a period of sixty days or more any child within the ages prescribed in § 22.1-254 whose parents or guardians reside in another state or the District of Columbia shall be subject to the provisions of § 22.1-254 and shall pay or cause to be paid any tuition charges for such child that may be required pursuant to § 22.1-5 or shall return such child to the home of his parents or legal guardians.

Code 1950, § 22-220; 1958, c. 628; 1968, c. 178; 1976, cc. 681, 713; 1978, c. 140; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-256. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1999, cc. 488 and 552.

§ 22.1-258. Appointment of attendance officers; notification when pupil fails to report to school; plan; conference; court proceedings.

Every school board shall have power to appoint one or more attendance officers, who shall be charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this article. Where no attendance officer is appointed by the school board, the division superintendent or his designee shall act as attendance officer.

Whenever any pupil fails to report to school on a regularly scheduled school day and no indication has been received by school personnel that the pupil's parent is aware of and supports the pupil's absence, a reasonable effort to notify by telephone the parent to obtain an explanation for the pupil's absence shall be made by either the school principal or his designee, the attendance officer, other school personnel, or volunteers organized by the school administration for this purpose. Any such volunteers shall not be liable for any civil damages for any acts or omissions resulting from making such reasonable efforts to notify parents and obtain such explanation when such acts or omissions are taken in good faith, unless such acts or omissions were the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct. This subsection shall not be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law or to affect any claim occurring prior to the effective date of this law. School divisions are encouraged to use noninstructional personnel for this notice.

Whenever any pupil fails to report to school for a total of five scheduled school days for the school year and no indication has been received by school personnel that the pupil's parent is aware of and supports the pupil's absence, and a reasonable effort to notify the parent has failed, the school principal or his designee shall make a reasonable effort to ensure that direct contact is made with the parent in person, through telephone conversation, or through the use of other communications devices to obtain an explanation for the pupil's absence and to explain to the parent the consequences of continued nonattendance. The school principal or his designee, the pupil, and the pupil's parent shall jointly develop a plan to resolve the pupil's nonattendance. Such plan shall include documentation of the reasons for the pupil's nonattendance.

If the pupil is absent for more than one additional day after direct contact with the pupil's parent, and school personnel have received no indication that the pupil's parent is aware of and supports the pupil's absence, the school principal or his designee shall schedule a conference with the pupil, his parent, and school personnel. Such conference may include the attendance officer and other community service providers to resolve issues related to the pupil's nonattendance. The conference shall be held no later than 10 school days after the tenth absence of the pupil, regardless of whether his parent approves of the conference. The conference team shall monitor the pupil's attendance and may meet again as necessary to address concerns and plan additional interventions if attendance does not improve. In circumstances in which the parent is intentionally noncompliant with compulsory attendance requirements or the pupil is resisting parental efforts to comply with compulsory attendance requirements, the principal or his designee shall make a referral to the attendance officer. The attendance officer shall schedule a conference with the pupil and his parent within 10 school days and may (i) file a complaint with the juvenile and domestic relations district court alleging the pupil is a child in need of supervision as defined in § 16.1-228 or (ii) institute proceedings against the parent pursuant to § 18.2-371 or 22.1-262. In filing a complaint against the student, the attendance officer shall provide written documentation of the efforts to comply with the provisions of this section. In the event that both parents have been awarded joint physical custody pursuant to § 20-124.2 and the school has received notice of such order, both parents shall be notified at the last known addresses of the parents.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit in any way the authority of any attendance officer or division superintendent to seek immediate compliance with the compulsory school attendance law as set forth in this article.

Attendance officers, other school personnel or volunteers organized by the school administration for this purpose shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability in connection with the notice to parents of a pupil's absence or failure to give such notice as required by this section.

Code 1950, § 22-275.16; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1980, c. 559; 1985, c. 482; 1990, c. 797; 1991, c. 295; 1996, cc. 891, 916, 964; 1998, c. 620; 1999, c. 526; 2010, c. 597; 2018, cc. 713, 753.

§ 22.1-259. Teachers to keep daily attendance records.

Every teacher in every school in the Commonwealth shall keep an accurate daily record of attendance of all children in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Board of Education. Such record shall, at all times, be open to any officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this article who may inspect or copy the same and shall be admissible in evidence in any prosecution for a violation of this article as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

Code 1950, §§ 22-209, 22-275.15; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1964, c. 119; 1968, c. 178; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-260. Reports of children enrolled and not enrolled; nonattendance.

A. Within 10 days after the opening of the school, each public school principal shall report to the division superintendent:

1. The name, age and grade of each student enrolled in the school, and the name and address of the student's parent or guardian; and

2. To the best of the principal's information, the name of each child subject to the provisions of this article who is not enrolled in school, with the name and address of the child's parent or guardian.

B. At the end of each school year, each public school principal shall report to the division superintendent the number of students by grade level for whom a conference was scheduled as required by § 22.1-258. The division superintendent shall compile such grade level information for the division and provide such information to the Superintendent of Public Instruction annually.

Code 1950, §§ 22-275.8, 22-275.9; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1980, c. 559; 1987, c. 374; 1988, c. 163; 1999, c. 526; 2003, c. 637; 2015, cc. 372, 666.

§ 22.1-261. Attendance officer to make list of children not enrolled; duties of attendance officer.

The attendance officer or the division superintendent or his designee shall check the reports submitted pursuant to subsection A of § 22.1-260 with reports from the State Registrar of Vital Records and Health Statistics. From these reports and from any other reliable source the attendance officer or the division superintendent or his designee shall, within five days after receiving all reports submitted pursuant to subsection A of § 22.1-260, make a list of the names of children who are not enrolled in any school and who are not exempt from school attendance. It shall be the duty of the attendance officer, on behalf of the local school board, to investigate all cases of nonenrollment and, when no valid reason is found therefor, to notify the parent, guardian or other person having control of the child to require the attendance of such child at the school within three days from the date of such notice.

Code 1950, § 22-275.10; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1980, c. 559; 1996, cc. 891, 964; 1999, c. 526; 2010, cc. 386, 597, 629.

§ 22.1-262. Complaint to court when parent fails to comply with law.

A list of persons notified pursuant to § 22.1-261 shall be sent by the attendance officer to the appropriate school principal. If the parent (i) fails to comply with the provisions of § 22.1-261 within the time specified in the notice or (ii) fails to comply with the provisions of § 22.1-254, it shall be the duty of the attendance officer, with the knowledge and approval of the division superintendent, to make complaint against the pupil's parent in the name of the Commonwealth before the juvenile and domestic relations district court. If proceedings are instituted against the parent for failure to comply with the provisions of § 22.1-258, the attendance officer is to provide documentation to the court regarding the school division's compliance with § 22.1-258. In addition thereto, such child may be proceeded against as a child in need of services or a child in need of supervision as provided in Chapter 11 (§ 16.1-226 et seq.) of Title 16.1.

Code 1950, § 22-275.11; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1976, c. 98; 1980, c. 559; 1990, c. 797; 1991, c. 295; 1996, cc. 891, 964; 1999, c. 526; 2018, cc. 713, 753.

§ 22.1-263. Violation constitutes misdemeanor.

Any person violating the provisions of either § 22.1-254, except for clause (ii) of subsection A, §§ 22.1-255, 22.1-258, 22.1-267, or the parental responsibility provisions relating to compulsory school attendance included in § 22.1-279.3, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Upon a finding that a person knowingly and willfully violated any provision of § 22.1-254, except for clause (ii) of subsection A, or any provision of §§ 22.1-255, 22.1-258, or § 22.1-267 and that such person has been convicted previously of a violation of any provision of § 22.1-254, except for clause (ii) of subsection A, or any provision of §§ 22.1-255, 22.1-258 or § 22.1-267, such person shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 22-275.5; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1976, c. 283; 1980, c. 559; 1990, c. 797; 1991, c. 295; 1996, cc. 891, 964; 1999, cc. 488, 526, 552; 2004, c. 573.

§ 22.1-264. Misdemeanor to make false statements as to age.

Any person who makes a false statement concerning the age of a child between the ages set forth in § 22.1-254 for the purpose of evading the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 22-275.18; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1968, c. 178; 1976, cc. 283, 681, 713; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-264.1. Misdemeanor to make false statements as to school division or attendance zone residency; penalty.

Any person who knowingly makes a false statement concerning the residency of a child, as determined by § 22.1-3, in a particular school division or school attendance zone, for the purposes of (i) avoiding the tuition charges authorized by § 22.1-5 or (ii) enrollment in a school outside the attendance zone in which the student resides, shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor and shall be liable to the school division in which the child was enrolled as a result of such false statements for tuition charges, pursuant to § 22.1-5, for the time the student was enrolled in such school division.

2005, c. 178; 2006, c. 143.

§ 22.1-265. Inducing children to absent themselves.

Any person who induces or attempts to induce any child to be absent unlawfully from school or who knowingly employs or harbors, while school is in session, any child absent unlawfully shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and may be subject to the penalties provided by subdivision 5 a of subsection B of § 16.1-278.5 or § 18.2-371. Upon a finding that a person knowingly and willfully violated the provisions of this section and that such person has been convicted previously of a violation of this section, such person shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 22-275.19; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1976, c. 283; 1980, c. 559; 1990, c. 797; 1991, cc. 295, 534; 1996, cc. 891, 916, 964.

§ 22.1-266. Law-enforcement officers and truant children.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 16.1-246, any law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101 or any attendance officer may pick up any child who (i) is reported to be truant from a public school by a school principal or division superintendent or (ii) the law-enforcement officer or attendance officer reasonably determines to be a public school student and by reason of the child's age and circumstances is either truant from public school or has been expelled from school and has been required to attend an alternative education program pursuant to § 22.1-254 or § 22.1-277.2:1, and may deliver such child to the appropriate public school, alternative education program, or truancy center and personnel thereof without charging the parent or guardian of such child with a violation of any provision of law.

B. Any such law-enforcement officer or attendance officer shall not be liable for any civil damages for any acts or omissions resulting from picking up or delivering a public school child as provided in subsection A when such acts or omissions are within the scope of the employment of such law-enforcement officer or attendance officer and are taken in good faith, unless such acts or omissions were the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct. This subsection shall not be construed to limit, withdraw or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law or to affect any claim occurring prior to the effective date of this law.

C. For the purposes of this section, "truancy center" means a facility or site operated by a school division, sometimes jointly with the local law-enforcement agency, and designated for receiving children who have been retrieved by a law-enforcement officer or attendance officer for truancy from school.

Code 1950, § 22-275.11:1; 1976, c. 692; 1978, c. 215; 1980, c. 559; 1999, cc. 395, 1023; 2001, cc. 688, 820.

§ 22.1-267. Proceedings against habitually absent child.

Any child permitted by any parent, guardian, or other person having control thereof to be habitually absent from school contrary to the provisions of this article may be proceeded against as a child in need of supervision as provided in Chapter 11 (§ 16.1-226 et seq.) of Title 16.1.

Code 1950, § 22-275.20; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1976, c. 98; 1980, c. 559; 1990, c. 797; 1991, c. 295.

§ 22.1-268. Duty of attorneys for the Commonwealth to prosecute cases arising under article; jurisdiction of offenses.

It shall be the duty of the attorneys for the Commonwealth of the several counties and cities to prosecute all cases arising under this article. Juvenile and domestic relations district courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction for the trial of such cases.

Code 1950, § 22-275.21; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-269. Board to enforce.

The Board of Education shall have the authority and it shall be its duty to see that the provisions of this article are properly enforced throughout the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 22-275.23; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 72; 1968, c. 178; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-269.1. Alternative attendance programs.

A. The Board of Education shall promulgate regulations for the voluntary participation of school divisions in programs to allow each school-age child to receive educational services at another public school, either in the division in which the child resides or in another division, as selected by the child's parent or guardian. Each public school in a school division participating in an alternative attendance program shall be eligible to participate in an alternative attendance program unless exceptional circumstances, as defined by the Board of Education, render the participation of the school contrary to public interest.

B. The Board's regulations shall be promulgated under the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and shall include, but shall not be limited to, provisions which address the following: the required acknowledgement by a local school of its decision to participate in an alternative attendance program, including school board resolutions for intradistrict programs and agreements between divisions participating in interdistrict programs; the equitable allocation of places to accommodate students when there are insufficient places to serve such students; transportation and school bus scheduling needs within the local school divisions; school enrollment capacity, class size, pupil-teacher ratios, and staffing levels for related instructional, administrative, and supervisory personnel as required by the Standards of Quality and the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools; the adequacy of school resources to accommodate an increase in student enrollment, grade level designations, and course offerings; the enrollment of students whose education is subject to an individualized education plan (I.E.P.) as required under P.L. 94-142 as amended; the preservation of the uniqueness of schools established for particular educational purposes; the fiscal impact of accommodating parental preference on local school divisions; in the case of interdistrict attendance programs, the establishment of tuition charges authorized by § 22.1-5; and the need to maintain racial balance in the public schools. The regulations shall also establish the value of educational services, based on consideration of per pupil expenditures and state aid in the affected school. Any local school board which has been ordered by a state or federal court to achieve racial balance in its public schools shall maintain such racial balance when accommodating preference in the assignment of children to a school.

C. From such funds as may be appropriated, the Board shall provide for the independent evaluation of this alternative attendance program and shall submit the evaluation to the Governor, the Senate, and the House of Delegates by January 1 of each year.

1993, c. 947.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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