The state of California would hold parents responsible if their children are chronically truant under a bill passed by the state Senate Thursday.
The bill would let prosecutors charge parents with misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine if their kids miss too much school.
The bill defines chronic truancy as: unexcused absences of 10 percent or more of the school year. It also mandates a student's attendance information be a part of the his or her permanent school record.
Sen. Mark Leno, a Democrat from San Francisco, says SB1317 is a public safety measure because children who do poorly in school or drop out are more likely to commit crimes.
Judges could delay the punishment to parents as an incentive to get their kids to school.
The measure passed the Senate on a 21-9 vote and now goes to the Assembly.