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Truancy up in southern Illinois schools

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CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) _ Truancy reports have significantly escalated in two southern Illinois counties _ in part because there are more people handling school-skippers.

Donna Boros is regional school superintendent for Jackson and Perry counties. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (http://bit.ly/1AXMD69) that she switched this school year from one full-time truancy officer to three part-time officers to spread the workload.

The number of truant-student referrals has jumped two-thirds _ from 180 in 2013 to 302 this year.

Boros says with more people handling cases, schools feel more confident making referrals. Students are considered truant if they miss at least seven days of school.

Boros says it’s also helped that schools have hired more social workers and student advocates who work with truancy officers and families. Family factors such as poverty often contribute.