D.C. Councilman David Catania is right: More parents should be pushed to get their children to school. It’s hard to dispute the fact that a child who is not in the classroom can’t receive any academic benefits. Still, his recently introduced legislative proposal, which would impose a series of sanctions — from written warnings to jail time or a $100 fine — on parents whose children have 10 or more unexcused absences, is no panacea for poor test scores and low graduation rates. In fact, his approach appears to ignore the reality of life in some low-income communities where truancy is highest.
Catania has spent his entire sorry career beating up on poor people that I would normally assume that this is more of the same. But I do wonder if his employer’s interests don’t include for profit prisons that are looking for additional inmates.