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Truancy issues continue to plague city schools

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Student attendance has grabbed the attention of the Buffalo school board.

Members decided Wednesday night to assemble a formal committee session to talk about the issue.

Many people believe part of the low test score issue is that kids can't learn if they aren't there and anecdotal evidence is reporting massive truancy.

The issue has been consistently pushed by Board Member Carl Paladino who says the first priority is finding out who isn't showing up...and why?

"So that we have good statistics, so that when we do open a file on a child, we have good numbers. We know what those numbers are. We send a team, now, to the house, just as South Park is doing, including the principal. And, they go right to the house, they sit with the parents, say: What's going on?"

Paladino says there is some evidence of principals telling teachers not to take attendance so there won't be bad statistics on attendance.

One Riverside teacher has been coming to board meetings for several years to report how many of his students haven't been showing up in a school with bad test scores.