Serpas asked the news media -- after he addressed the impotent and incompetent school board -- "how they hell" is the district going to keep track of students if they don't know if they're in class?
Metro's four police precincts picked up a shocking 150 truant students on one recent day. Children not in school are more prone to be victims of crime and committing crime. For sure, if they're not being educated, the vicious cycle of poverty will not be broken and prisons will overfill even more.
That costs taxpayers twice -- in per pupil expenditures for schools and funding for prisons.
A Metro school official offered the lame excuse that a new computer system was the reason for this remarkable wrong. How does a computer system replace reading out a list of students who are supposed to be in class and then reporting the absent names to district officials?
Then the district should call homes. If no answer there, send the name to a truancy officer for follow up and student and parental punishment if necessary.
The truancy problem adds to the mountain of woe consuming the school district that is months away from being taken over by the state for not educating children adequately.
Yet Mayor Karl Dean recently cited education as a major accomplishment of his first year. Go figure. Rising truancy and falling achievement numbers say damningly different.