A Project Baltimore investigation has found fewer and fewer students are attending public school in Maryland on a regular basis. Alarming new data show attendance is down, and chronic absenteeism is up, especially in one local district.

Chronic Absenteeism is defined by the state as a student who misses more than 10 percent of school, or 19 days, over an entire school year. It’s not just a barrier to student learning. It can also be illegal.

“Our goal is to get the kids in school. Our goal isn't necessarily to criminalize anyone, but sometimes to get the kids in school, you got to go to a courtroom,” said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

According to state law, a student is considered truant when they miss more than 20 percent of the school days, without a legal reason, or 37 days, over an entire year. Parents can be fined $50 a day or receive three days in jail on a first offense. Shellenberger says his office is seeing an increase in truancy cases.... Read More: WMAR2NEWS