Except for the classroom material they miss, skipping school apparently doesn't have any serious consequences for Jefferson County truants. So say local school officials, who met with state lawmakers about their concerns this week. In our view, truants need more, not less, supervision than they're getting now.
The argument we're sure to hear is that there's no money to create any new facilities for juveniles who refuse to attend school. But the consequences of not dealing with this issue now will certainly include more people on the state's welfare rolls and in its prison population later.
Such a facility should be a boot-camp style school with secured perimeters, so that it doesn't experience the walkaway problems of the Franklin County, Pa. VisionQuest camp. Tuition would be required in lieu of the fines parents would pay for their offspring's lack of attendance, and the state and local governments would probably have to subsidize the facility as well.