ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico lawmaker wants to crack down on kids playing hooky by having schools text parents about upcoming tests.
“That’s probably one of the main reasons we have such a low graduation rate. It’s hard for kids to learn when they’re not in school,” said Republican Rep. Nate Gentry.
That is why Gentry of Albuquerque is introducing a bill pushing for schools to text parents two days before a test, to make sure they study and show up. Read the proposed bill >>
“If parents get a notification that their kid is missing school, or that a test is coming up, we’re able to reduce truancy and improve test scores,” said Gentry.
Gentry says he has seen the idea work in districts across the country.
“Other school districts have implemented this type of reform and again if parents get a notice there’s a test coming up, the kids do better on the test,” he said.
Some districts, like Albuquerque Public Schools, already have websites where parents can track their children’s assignments, test schedules and attendance.
However, APS says texting parents of more than 80,000 students before every test would be a big project to tackle. They say it might even be expensive to parents with no text plans, but Gentry says that should not be an issue.
“There’s a whole host of group text applications and programs that would make this work, I don’t think it’s necessarily that difficult,” said Gentry.
So far, people in Albuquerque have mixed feelings on the proposed bill.
“Kids are going to do what they want, if they’re going to miss, they’re going to miss. I don’t think a text is going to prevent them,” said Josh Miranda.
“That’s a really good idea. Helps us keep on top of studying and pass every test,” said Tyler Atencio.
If this bill passes, it will also require the school to text parents when a student is absent. Parents can request to opt out of the notification system.
APS already calls and emails parents when their kids are absent.
The 30-day legislative session begins in mid-January.