1999 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Burton, Furniss
Senate Bill 2259
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-89, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY UNUSED LEAVE CREDITED TO SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICERS WHEN THEY WERE EMPLOYED BY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHALL BE CARRIED OVER AND CREDITED TO SUCH PERSONS IF THEY REMAINED EMPLOYED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, AND TO REVISE THE STATUTORY SCALE FOR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICERS EMPLOYED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-13-89, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-89. (1) In each school district within the state, there shall be employed the number of school attendance officers determined by the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement to be necessary to adequately enforce the provisions of the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law; however, this number shall not exceed one hundred fifty-three (153) school attendance officers at any time. From and after July 1, 1998, all school attendance officers employed pursuant to this section shall be employees of the State Department of Education. The State Department of Education shall employ all persons employed as school attendance officers by district attorneys before July 1, 1998, and shall assign them to school attendance responsibilities in the school district in which they were employed before July 1, 1998. The first twelve (12) months of employment for each school attendance officer shall be the probationary period of state service. Any unused leave credited to such school attendance officers when they were employed by district attorneys shall be carried over and credited to such persons if they remain employed as school attendance officers by the State Department of Education.
(2) Each school attendance officer shall possess a college degree with a major in a behavioral science or a related field or shall have no less than three (3) years combined actual experience as a school teacher, school administrator, law enforcement officer possessing such degree, and/or social worker; however, these requirements shall not apply to persons employed as school attendance officers before January 1, 1987. School attendance officers also shall satisfy any additional requirements that may be established by the State Personnel Board for the position of school attendance officer.
(3) It shall be the duty of each school attendance officer to:
(a) Cooperate with any public agency to locate and identify all compulsory-school-age children who are not attending school;
(b) Cooperate with all courts of competent jurisdiction;
(c) Investigate all cases of nonattendance and unlawful absences by compulsory-school-age children not enrolled in a nonpublic school;
(d) Provide appropriate counseling to encourage all school-age children to attend school until they have completed high school;
(e) Attempt to secure the provision of social or welfare services that may be required to enable any child to attend school;
(f) Contact the home or place of residence of a compulsory-school-age child and any other place in which the officer is likely to find any compulsory-school-age child when the child is absent from school during school hours without a valid written excuse from school officials, and when the child is found, the officer shall notify the parents and school officials as to where the child was physically located;
(g) Contact promptly the home of each compulsory-school-age child in the school district within the officer's jurisdiction who is not enrolled in school or is not in attendance at public school and is without a valid written excuse from school officials; if no valid reason is found for the nonenrollment or absence from the school, the school attendance officer shall give written notice to the parent, guardian or custodian of the requirement for the child's enrollment or attendance;
(h) Collect and maintain information concerning absenteeism, dropouts and other attendance-related problems, as may be required by law or the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement; and
(i) Perform all other duties relating to compulsory school attendance established by the State Department of Education or district school attendance supervisor, or both.
(4) While engaged in the performance of his duties, each school attendance officer shall carry on his person a badge identifying him as a school attendance officer under the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement of the State Department of Education and an identification card designed by the State Superintendent of Public Education and issued by the school attendance officer supervisor. Neither the badge nor the identification card shall bear the name of any elected public official.
(5) From and after July 1, 1999, the salary scale for school attendance officers shall be as follows:
(a) For school attendance officers holding a bachelor's degree or any other attendance officer who does not hold such a degree, the annual salary shall be based on years of experience as a school attendance officer or related field of service or employment, no less than as follows:
Years of Experience Salary
0 - 4 years $21,030.00
5 - 8 years 23,060.00
9 - 12 years 24,690.00
13 - 16 years 26,320.00
Over 17 years 27,940.00
(b) For school attendance officers holding a license as a social worker, the annual salary shall be based on years of experience as a school attendance officer or related field of service or employment, no less than as follows:
Years of Experience Salary
0 - 4 years $22,100.00
5 - 8 years 24,560.00
9 - 12 years 26,530.00
13 - 16 years 28,500.00
17 - 20 years 30,470.00
Over 21 years 32,440.00
(c) For school attendance officers holding a master's degree in a behavioral science or a related field, the annual salary shall be based on years of experience as a school attendance officer or related field of service or employment, no less than as follows:
Years of Experience Salary
0 - 4 years $22,960.00
5 - 8 years 25,680.00
9 - 12 years 27,870.00
13 - 16 years 30,050.00
17 - 20 years 32,230.00
Over 21 years 34,420.00
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.