RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) - Command of Richmond truancy officers could be shifted from the city itself back to the school system, which school administrators say will help get kids back on track.
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden says it's the school system's responsibility to keep track of their students.
"The city has so much more that they need to be focusing on and taking care of, that we need to do our part. And that means making sure our kids are in school," he says.
To do that, school officials believe the truancy officers should work for RPS and not the city.
Right now, only four officers work with the system taking care of elementary schools. The 31 city employees focus on middle and high school students. It's been that way for almost a decade.
"We believe that should be a K- 12 continuum of services that they collaborate and work together," Bedden says.
He says that would also allow them to address issues as early as possible.
"So if we saw seeing a pattern in the elementary level we can fix it then and get the student on the right track," he said.
The city pays $1.7 million for its truancy workers, and Dr. Bedden hopes RPS will get those funds to reach their ultimate goal.
"Any percent of truancy is a concern, whether it's 1 percent or 20 percent. We want it to ne 0 percent. Now, that may not be realistic as far as achieving it, but we always continue to work toward that," he says.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond