Local School Districts Paying Cash For Truancy Tips

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A program to stop truancy in two North Texas school districts could be a moneymaker for some.

Both the Arlington and Mansfield Independent School Districts are participating in the “You Earn, They Learn. Stop Truancy.” program.

Arlington Police Department Spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard says both of the districts have a plan, “to try to utilize a reward system for trying to combat truancy.”

Ellis Richard explained that there are now steps people can take if they notice a chronic school skipper. “They notify Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers then sends a message to AISD and to our school resource officers, to make an effort to go make contact with that youngster.”

Crime Stoppers then follows up to see if that student is breaking the law with their absences. “There’s a state statute that determines what is truancy,” explained Ellis Richard.

In what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind approach, if the absent student is truant the person who reported them cutting class will earn a $20 reward.

“Once they verify that student is truant and truant is being absent over a period of days, not just missing one day of school, then that information is given back to Crime Stoppers and the reward is given afterward.”

The reward turns into a ‘double your money’ situation if the student has been truant for several days — with the reward going as high as $40.

Crime Stoppers is providing the funding for the program between the school districts and police. Adults and students can report potentially truant kids by calling Crime Stoppers at (817) 469-TIPS (8477), or by logging on to the Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County web page.


One Comment

  1. darrell says:

    lol, this isnt about getting kids back in school. this is about making money during a budget crisis. fines in arlington are $244.00 each time. parents may also be fined an additional $244.00 for several different related items.

    1. Green Energy Savers Texas says:


    2. Rhonda says:

      No this is about busting those kids that skip school, so they will return to school. Schools get more funding for more kids that are in school… less if less kids are there, so I believe the purpose of this is to get these students in school. It’s a win-win!

    3. Tom D. says:

      For each day of truancy, a perpetual till paid in full judgement should be levied against the parents and the student. The judgement should be equal to the daily cost per student expenditure for the district in which the truancy was committed.

      This must be a NO excuses policy. The judgement aspect gives it financially lethal teeth.

    4. Tim says:

      I agree with you. Its just another money grab for the City of Arlington.
      Why are there som many red light cameras and Arlington PD officers running radar all day while people are being victimized? Writing tickets for truancy or speeding generates more money than arresting someone and placing them in jail. It costs the city to house someone in jail.
      Tickets are much more profitable.

  2. Nonya says:

    Well, if the students stayed in school, they wouldn’t have to worry about the fines.

    1. t paine says:

      many factors involved.

      http://www.RightsOfMan.org. Words from the man who first said the words “United States of America”


      2. See Em says:

        oh please. Tom Paine was a criminal, and an traitor to his country. Probably the craziest of the liberal, left wingnuts to ever live, worse than Obama Hussein.

  3. jojochicago says:

    I’m TELLING on ALL they butts! lol! When them kids aren’t in school they usually in grown folks way who are out here trying to have a kid free day!

    1. Dooby T. Cat says:

      I’m going to assume that you skipped a lot of school.

      1. Robyn Singleton says:


  4. LibertyLover says:

    When I was a kid parents sometimes took kids out of school to attend a football game or similar. The teachers would sometimes smile and say, “Lucky!” Nowadays the parents aren’t seen as the ultimate authority and kids learn less. Shame on those who participate in this gestapo like tactic. Mind your own business and understand that some kids are homeschooled therefore are not obligated to compulsory attendance laws. Good for them, too, for it’s been proven that they outshine their publicly schooled peers both academically and socially. What does that tell you?

  5. JimBeam says:

    @LibertyLover – It tells me the homeschooled kids don’t have to deal with ghettofabulous classmates.

    1. Lisa Marie says:

      “ghettofabulous” — I love it! THanks for giving me a new word to teach my 5 homeschooled children today!

  6. Jack Henderson says:

    What a joke!! Using Crime Stoppers to deal with Truancy. Are you serious? What’s next calling an Amber Alert because somebody didn’t show up for work? This is ridiculous!!! I live about 20 minutes from Arlington, Texas and it has some horrible neighborhoods for the DFW area. Arlington PD has lost at three officers in the line of duty in the last year, one was murdered in a murder/suicide she interrupted. You would think that the police have better things to do than harass kids skipping schools and hanging out at the local mall playing video games or going to Six Flags, etc.. How about dealing with the killers, rapists, thieves and drug dealers…especially those who aren’t juveniles. Cops in this state deal with “easy prey” i.e. juveniles, speeders, people driving after drinking just enough to be intoxicated and now, in Arlington, people using their cell phone to send text messages while driving then can’t handle the major offenders. Further, this is just another heavy handed Texas “law and order” attempt to turn everyone into either a police informant or get them convicted of some crime. If kids don’t want to go to school then what is to be gained by forcing a disruptive troublemaker into a school with kids who might be receptive to learning something?? Not only that, the amount of “ill will” generated between neighbors over this “bounty hunter” approach is ridiculous and could spark potential violence. The funding for schools in this state has recently been gutted yet still we concentrate on trying to force the issue with people who “opt out” of the educational process voluntarily. I recognize that educated children and people are usually more productive citizens and perhaps this issue should be dealt with in some way but the “knee jerk” approach of using the criminal or juvenile justice system to answer every problem is just plain hogwash. Just as importantly, in these financially tough times taxpayers both in the state and these cities should be up in arms over wasting the taxpayers’ money on this issue when money could be spent on the kids who want to go to school and learn and on dealing with a very real crime problem (at least in Arlington.)

    1. ABM says:

      What do you think the truant kids are doing? They are breaking into stuff, drug dealing – basically doing the things you are identifying the police should be concerned about. There are all sorts of profiles on social networking sites of teenage boys showing off their weapons outdoors with the Parks Mall in Arlington in the background. Go after the truants and reduce crime.

      1. Aaron Self says:

        I skipped school a lot and still managed to keep a 3.0 GPA. Oh, and yeah, I never broke into stuff or dealt drugs. I just went home. Public school is a joke now. You can find drugs easier in a high school than you can on the street in most places.

  7. crasster says:


    Public schools are socialism. Learn about them.

  8. leo says:

    Fine the parents if they have a job,if they dont cut their welfare checks !!!!!!

  9. Tx2Stroke says:

    Neighbors reporting on neighbors for money sounds a little bit like a George Orwell scenario. Or Revelations…

  10. Guest says:

    This is very Orwellian and sounds like it could easily be used to harass home school students.

  11. Rhonda says:

    I think this is a great program. Most of the kids skipping are either breaking into homes, doing drugs, or other illegal acts. If they’re not in school, they will probably soon be in prison for one of those violent acts. I’m just saying….

    1. dp_texan says:

      Oh. So untrue!

    2. Bebeblugirl says:

      From what world did you come from ’cause with those remarks you need to go back.

    3. Tula May says:

      Rhonda the psychic fascist!

  12. WC86 says:

    It’s all about dollarsand numbers. The state gives so much to the district each day per student and they want a large count of warm bodies. To heck with quality of teaching them.

    1. Bobby says:


  13. dp_texan says:

    Welcome to Socialism. Welcome to Big Brother. The parents no longer have rights to raise their own children as they see fit. This will only force more homeschooling. I came very close to doing this for my oldest child last year. I’m all for the student being in school, but Texas law has turned for the worse. And yes I am a Native Texan, White, and College graduate – so don’t even go there. State law on truancy is excessive – read the law for yourself before you judge.

    1. Tula May says:

      I agree with you . I am a fifth generation Texan and our state has turned from something great to a complete Police State.

  14. Bebeblugirl says:

    SNITCH!! Go back to paddling these kids in the butt each day they miss. See if they keep missing. PROBLEM SOLVED!! Parents should have some level of discipline and not have to worry about the law for spanking them when needed. Whom ever thought of this plan needs to grow up. Surely not only people get harrassed but the lines are going to be busy because of all the snitching over $40. is not worth it. When they need to keep those lines open for the intended purpose of protecting the community.

  15. ramicio says:

    They should just let the kid skip. They obviously are the type of person who will wind up being an idiot, anyway. And even if they ever do see the light, today’s society is so coddling you can get a HS diploma at any age you like, and somehow it’s more of an accomplishment than doing it when you’re supposed to.

  16. Patriotic Girl says:

    Just what the world needs – More big brotherinf and nanny state issues.

  17. x says:

    nazi like snitches school penetentiary

    the hatred beats down like the merciless hot sun

    one day the little monsters will grow up

    full of red hot hate

    ironman shall return and proceed to burn

    vengeance is a dish best served cold

    hey teacher! leave them kids alone!


  18. Bullet Gibson says:

    Wow! So many of you folks act like our schools are actually doing their jobs! Have you SEEN what they have been turning out for decades? This isn’t about the kids. If it was maybe they would be more concerned about actually EDUCATING the kids. This is all about control and money.

  19. Free says:

    Money, Money, Money. That’s what this is about. Also, the state wants to make sure you know they OWN you and your children. Learn NATURAL law!

  20. sic of dhs says:

    Leave the truant kids alone. If they are forced to school, they slow down the kids who want to learn. Stop the B.S. program of paying people to spy on their neighbors. This is more stuff from janet incompetano at the DHS and our communist imposter in chief

  21. Homeschooler Parent says:

    Homeschoolers might be a target of this. NOT everyone goes to a brick and mortar school and neighbors don’t know the rules in Texas.

  22. LIBERTY NOW says:

    Texas is a green state for homeschooling. Home schooled children go out for field trips. I wonder how many home schooled children will be targets.

  23. Frustrated Taxpayer and Voter says:

    I would probably be a habitual truant as well if I was forced to attend K-12 government day care. Other responders are correct: this is all about the money. A friend of ours called her daughter’s jr. high attendance officer early one morning to let them know her daughter was running a 104 degree fever and that she was taking her to the doctor. The attendance officer responded, “Would you just bring your daughter by the school office on your way to the doctor so we can mark her down as present?” This was the final straw which led her to withdraw her daughter and educate her in a moree traditional setting: at home.

  24. Jerky Miester says:

    Here’s a solution. Give them a choice. Get your ass back in school or go to work for the Hiway Dept. fixing roads and bridges. That should help them decide that they need an education.

    1. Tula May says:

      Another totalitarian response from a “freedom lover”.

  25. Frustrated Taxpayer and Voter says:

    I would probably be a habitual truant as well if I was forced to attend K-12 government day care. Other responders are correct: this is ALL about the money. A friend of ours called her daughter’s jr. high attendance officer early one morning to let the school know her daughter was running a high fever and that she was taking her to the doctor. The attendance officer responded, “Would you just bring her by the school office on your way to the doctor so we can mark her down as ‘present’ for the day?” This was the final straw which led to her withdraw her daughter and educate her in a more traditional setting: at home.

  26. Tula May says:

    Texas is a police state and has been for a very long time. I suppose all of the police state supporters are also in favor of the court dates they have recently had for an eight year old who squabbled on the bus ,or the disorderly conduct tickets written for a girl who applied perfume, or the tickets written for possessing a soda. I wonder why the drop out rate is so high? I can’t wait for the faciast drone response!

  27. Tula May says:

    sorry about the typo! Fascist…

  28. texashomeschooldad#8746 says:

    I’m a homeschooling dad. Found this article on some of the laws about truancy/school attendance: http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Texas.pdf

    First off, this is obviously about money, No bones about it.

    Secondly, let’s see the ‘whistle-blowers’ come after the home school families. I would love for them to come see how organized we are in our home … schools. Maybe they could get a clue and actually see why home schooling is so successful vs the government run K-12 day time orphanages. The only thing that will be tough is getting our kids to use words with one syllable when they have to explain to the truancy officer what they are doing at home.

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