Currently in Maryland, children between the ages of 5 and 17 must attend school. As school districts across the state place greater focus on preparing students for college and career, the state law is changing; as of July 2015, students up to the age of 17 are required to attend school, and starting in July 2017, students up to the age of 18 will be required to attend school.
In Maryland, it is the parent or guardian's legal responsibility to make sure children attend school. If a student has missed 15 days of school without a legal reason, the school may refer the family to the district office.
If the district determines that the school has made every effort to work with the family and offer support but that the student has continued accruing unexcused absences, charges will be filed against the parent or guardian in district court.
A parent or guardian who has been referred for charges can expect to:
- receive a letter or phone call from the Office of Attendance and Truancy
- receive a court summons to appear in court
- possibly receive a fine of up to $50 for each absence ($100 for second convictions)
- possibly be subject to imprisonement