Mayor Bloomberg steps up efforts to combat truancy

September 3, 2013 1:41:18 PM PDT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is revving up New York City's efforts to beat school truancy.

NYC public school students have one more week to enjoy their summer freedom.

After that, kids found at the park or anywhere else except school will find themselves the focus of an aggressive new campaign against truancy.

The Police Athletic League Center in Morningside Heights has a room downstairs that will house students that are caught cutting class.

More than a holding center or revolving door, the goal here is to provide tutoring and assign mentors who will stay involved in the student's life, who will show someone cares.

Here's a pretty dark statistic: One out of every five public school students in New York City is chronically absent, missing more than a month of school.

That's 200,000 truants every year, and 80% of them, Eyewitness News is told, will end up arrested.

If this truancy program proves successful, the goal is to open up more sites and establish more mentoring in the rest is the boroughs.