The Texas Senate approved legislation that would end criminal penalties against students who skip school. SB 106 would fine parents $100 for the first offense and $100 for each offence going forward with a cap at $500. Under the current law, kids who miss 10 or more days in a six month period face a Class C misdemeanor charge and a fine up to $500 according to the Austin American Statesman. The change removes the criminal penalty but everything else stays the same. According to the Austin American Statesman, the bill was filed to keep kids out of the criminal system.

More than 100,000 Texas students a year face Class C misdemeanors, and criminal records, for truancy violations that are handled in adult court — endangering their future applications for housing, college and the military, said state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

Criminal courts aren’t set up to deal with the underlying problems of truancy, which can include homelessness, mental health issues, illness, pregnancy and poverty, he said.

“Over 100,000 students last year were given criminal charges because they couldn’t get to school, and most of them because of circumstances beyond the students’ control,” Whitmire told the Senate. “That’s what I’m addressing today, the criminalization of hardship.”

The bill passed in the Senate with a 26-5 vote. Should Texas lawmakers end the criminal penalty for truancy? Let us know in today's KFYO Poll of the Day.