Truant Students = No Drivers License

Truant Students = No Drivers License
By:  Arnold Wyrick
Herrin, IL - Illinois lawmakers want to tie your students attendance to their driving privileges. The proposed legislation House Bill 1463 has passed the House, and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.
Here's how the new law would work. If your child is 18 years of age or younger, and misses 18 unexcused days of school or more in a school year, they lose their drivers license.
"In the past we've had students that have just come here to school to get their drivers license, and then leave. This legislation is going to discourage that, and it's going to make kids stay in school," says Rick Grunert Drivers Education Instructor of Herrin High School.
Some students feel that it may not be such a bad idea to require their fellow classmates to attend school in order to get behind the wheel of a car, legally.
"I think it's a great idea just because it'll encourage kids to go to school longer, and not skip days when they're just lazy or tired. And it'll give them something to look forward too," says Senior Sarah Weaver of Herrin High School.
Herrin High School's principal also sees some advantages for at risk students under the proposed legislation.
" Often students that miss 18 days or more of school are going to be at a greater risk of failing school in the first place. Anything that can keep our students in school, and keep them passing classes towards graduation, I think is a good bill," says Principal Terry Ryker of Herrin High School.
Driving is a privilege that some students see as more of a doorway to other opportunities in life.
"It's very important if you want a job. Or if you have errands to run you can't rely on your parents a lot of times if they're working. You have to be able to get places. So a drivers license is very important at our age," says Senior Kori Walker of Herrin High School.
And in the end if House Bill 1463 passes and is signed into law, schools could be the biggest benefactors in the end.
"Our state funding is based upon our student attendance percentages, so getting more kids into school raises those percentages. And that could raise our funding too, that would be a good thing for everyone," Ryker said.