Pilot program to fight truancy in NYC schools

August 19, 2010 11:00:05 AM PDT
Hundreds of New York City schoolchildren who were chronically absent last year will get a boost from mentors assigned to keep them in school.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday announced a pilot program to fight truancy. When school starts next month, 25 schools with high absentee rates will get extra support including mentors who will call students at home if they don't show up to class.

The mentors will also help in other ways such as setting up tutoring for any subjects the students are struggling in.

New York City's 1.1 million-student public school system had an overall attendance rate of 90 percent last year. Attendance at some schools was much lower.

Bloomberg said 240,000 kids missed at least 20 days of school last year.