BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) - The Belen School District has a new attendance policy for 2012. They plan to prosecute parents who's students are habitually truant. Under the new policy, letters will be sent home after a child misses more than three classes. If the behavior continues, the parent will have to sign an attendance contract. After that fails the metro court system will get involved and if changes aren't made the parent will be prosecuted. They could face fines and even jail time.
Richard Romero, Belen's Truancy Liaison reports about 10 percent of the districts students are racking up habitual unexcused absences. He hopes the new policy will not only deter the bad habits, but help address bigger problems.
"Domestic violence issues, substance abuse issues, usually the problem isn't truancy," said Romero. "The safest place for kids is at school and most parents want their kids to succeed but a lot of times life kind of gets in the way."
He added the district will also offer troubled families counseling and other resources.
The courts will get involved after 10 unexcused absences. Belen's program is based on one adopted last year by the Los Lunas School District. Officials say so far they have prosecuted more than 200 parents there.
An Albuquerque Police officer involved shooting over the weekend marks the fifth since late October and city officials are taking notice.
A woman was stolen from her daughter's car, a woman who died more than five years ago.
Albuquerque police shot and killed a man Sunday night after responding to an assault call near UNM.
Deputies were led on a chase around 4 p.m. Monday after a person called 911 to report their vehicle had been stolen and was being driven recklessly around Albuquerque.
New Mexico could have hundreds of millions of dollars more to spend as legislators get ready to put together next year's budget in the upcoming legislative session.
Organizers of the Gildan New Mexico Bowl are hoping to shed the disappointing attendance numbers that weighed down the event last year when the Colorado State Rams and the Washington State Cougars face off Dec. 21.