The debate of whether or not families can take their children out of school to travel is heating up with a renewed discussion on whether or not it is illegal to do so. Is it illegal to take your kids out of school to travel? The answer may be “yes.”
The “No Child Left Behind Act,” which went into effect in 2001, reviewed truancy and education and found kids who missed too much school felt the impact on grades and education. The Act required schools to keep records of absences and truancy, and state and local policies were changed in an attempt to lower truancy rates. While the Act does not specifically deem it illegal for children to miss time due to travel, many states have attendance requirements for its public schools to meet in order to receive funding, which trickles down to the schools allowing for only a certain number of absences for illness, doctor appointments, and the like. While some schools do not dictate how those absences may be used, allowing for families to use a day or two for a weekend getaway, some specifically state the days cannot be used for travel, and it is in their right to do so.
If you are concerned about school policies, it is best to inquire with the school before planning any travel during the school year.
For more information about children missing school to travel, see Taking Your Kids Out of School to Travel.
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