OAG 92-95


June 9, 1992














Hon. J. Stephen Kirby

Director of Legal Services

Kentucky School Boards Association

260 Democrat Drive

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Dear Mr. Kirby:

You have requested a formal written opinion of the Attorney General concerning the Extended School Services Programs enacted in the 1990 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. KRS 158.070(7) requires schools to provide continuing education for students who need additional time to meet the educational goals set forth in KRS 158.6451. Your question, in particular, is whether a district may compel attendance in a summer program by students who have excessive unexcused absences that have jeopardized the students' academic achievement for that year.

This office has previously addressed attendance policies that require a student to meet certain attendance requirements in order to receive course credit. OAG 74-312. So long as the attendance policy is reasonable, a school board may enact a regulation that a pupil must not be absent for more than a certain number of days and be able to receive credit for his courses.

It is the opinion of this Office that schools may offer the option, but not compel, students who have excessive unexcused absences to attend a summer program when attendance in a summer program will enable the students to achieve the appropriate goals.

KRS 158.070(1) and (2) provide that the minimum school term shall be 185 days, with at least 175 of those days being instructional days. Pupils are required to attend school, " for at least the minimum instructional term." KRS 158.070(2)(b). A board of education may also extend the school term beyond the minimum term, and operate its schools on a year-round basis upon approval by the Department of Education. KRS 158.070(1) and (2), and 702 KAR 7:020.

Nevertheless, there is no specific statute authorizing a board of education to require a student who has excessive absences to attend a summer program.



Sincerely,

CHRIS GORMAN

ATTORNEY GENERAL





Anne E. Keating

Assistant Attorney General

AEK/par