HB 234: Clarifying Illnesses for Excusal from School
This bill passed the House with a vote of 66-1 and the Senate with a unanimous vote.
State law currently allows parents to excuse a child for a variety of reasons, including illness. These “valid excuses” do not count toward truancy.
Unfortunately, the law does not clarify that illness is not merely physical; many students struggle with profound mental health challenges that may, on certain days, require they be absent from school.
House Bill 234, sponsored by Representative Jefferson Moss, would amend the law to clarify that a valid excuse for illness can be for “physical or mental illness.” Should the bill pass, parents whose children have a bad day due to anxiety, depression, temptations of suicide, or other mental health challenges will have the legal right to excuse them from compulsory education for that day.