UK City Now Charges Parents £1,000 per Child Who Misses School to Travel
Has your kid ever missed a day or two of school to go on a family vacation? Maybe you just couldn't squeeze the whole trip into a school break, or the prices ( and crowds ) were significantly less if you shifted your travel dates by a couple of days. While we try very hard to not have our kids miss more than a couple days of school per year, I'm most certainly 'guilty as charged' when it comes to having my kids miss a day here or there to travel.
However, if you live in England, missing school comes with fines that are quite common and that can reach pretty staggering numbers. In fact, in Lancashire County (located just Northwest of Manchester), the County Council is trialing a system that moves from the current fixed penalty notice of £60 - £120 per parent per child for unauthorized absences (such as for family vacations), to a penalty of up to £1,000 per parent per child (approx. $1,300). Again, once you trigger a penalty notice with five or more missed days, these fines are per parent and per child, meaning that a family with two parents and several children would be hit with a much larger post-vacay bill than a single parent with one child.
"All mums in England are handcuffed to the school calendar for vacations once children turn 4, which is why I traveled so much during my maternity leave," TPG 's UK family travel contributor Kathleen Kristiansen said. "Even taking the Friday before school vacation can put you in the bad books with the school, facing potential expulsion even at public schools. While the penalty at the moment is relatively low compared to the potential cost savings, there is a lot of shame if your child misses school, particularly if you attend a highly rated one."
In England, these are not fines just sitting on the books but actually are frequently levied. In the 2016 - 2017 school year, Lancashire issued 6,876 fines to parents for unauthorized school absences , the highest rate in England. However, some counties in England issue virtually no fines at all .
Penalties for missing school isn't just an issue for families across the pond. In the US, many states also have fines for truancy on the books -- and this can even include jail time for parents in states where truancy is a criminal matter. The specifics on truancy and unexcused absences vary (widely) across the nation. In Texas, the tenth unexcused absence in six months can trigger a $100 fine for the first offense, increasing to a maximum of $500. Until recent years, truancy was considered a criminal matter in Texas, and there were parents who went to jail as a result of their children missing school.
Out west in California, the bar for triggering a truancy report is quite strict by national standards. Per the California Department of Education rules, truancy is defined as missing just 30-minutes of a school day three times in a school year. On the fourth such occurrence, a $100 fine can be issued, with the amount increasing with subsequent violations, up to $2,000 or one year in county jail.
If your family is considering a discretionary trip during the school year, regardless of where you live, get to know your local school attendance policies (both written and real world applications). In many US locations, missing a day or two a year for travel won't raise any red flags for an otherwise 'good' student, but don't make any assumptions that could land you and your kiddos in hot water with the school district as policies can and do vary.
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Cliched excuse for missing homework
Today's crossword puzzle clue is a quick one: Cliched excuse for missing homework . We will try to find the right answer to this particular crossword clue. Here are the possible solutions for "Cliched excuse for missing homework" clue. It was last seen in Chicago Sun-Times quick crossword. We have 1 possible answer in our database.
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Clue: Lame excuse for missing homework
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Wordplay, The CROSSWORD COLUMN
You’re Onto Something
Robert Ryan’s Sunday puzzle paints a pretty picture.
By Caitlin Lovinger
Jump to: Tricky Clues | Today’s Theme
SUNDAY PUZZLE — Robert Ryan lives in London and works as an economist for the British government’s Competition and Markets Authority. This is his third crossword for The New York Times — the last two were Sunday grids as well, and both ran this year. Although he grew up solving cryptic crosswords, which are popular in Britain, and loves their wordplay, he doesn’t create them. He has submitted crosswords only here and said, “Once I discovered the American crossword, I was completely sold.”
They may not be cryptics, but Mr. Ryan’s puzzles all display his gift for teasing words apart and taking advantage of a commonality that many people would never take note of. You may remember his debut construction as an example of this; words with an unusual trait, hiding in plain sight. Showier theme sets are out there, but it’s nice to have a little subtlety sometimes, and the whole grid is beautifully crafted.
There are seven entries in the theme set today, at 23-, 36-, 49-, 63-, 74-, 92- and 107-Across. Each is clued with a question, and each solves to a common phrase or term that answers the question with the addition of the same three letters at the end of one of the words in the entry.
These are long entries, and the theme was hard enough for me to suss out that I needed a couple of turns through the down entries in order to get a quorum of crossing letters. I enjoy that feature in a puzzle with a tight theme like this one, because the suspense in solving tends to dissipate after you’ve found two or three examples. The longer the tension can build, the better.
I figured out my first term at 36-Across, “Public stance of a member of Congress?,” which solves to WASHINGTON POSTURE. This works with the clue and breaks down to WASHINGTON POST + URE. That was the trick I needed to finish 74-Across, which is coincidentally also media-adjacent: “Newspaper write-up that’s light on criticism?” is NO MEAN FEATURE, a play on “no mean feat,” of course (and a good pun to describe a “puff piece,” should you ever catch a glimpse of one in the wild). Now, note the puzzle’s title, which uses a homophone. “You’re Onto Something” hints at the trick; add “U-R-E,” pronounced “you’re,” onto something to get each theme entry.
Not every answer tacks “U-R-E” on to the end. At 49-Across, “Shepherd’s job, essentially?,” solves to PASTURE CARING, for instance, which creates a funny little oxymoron since a “past caring” attitude would disqualify anyone from tending my sheep, should I ever have any. This entry is one of my favorites, as is 63-Across, “Turn more heads than intended?,” which is ALLURE TOO WELL.
4A/10D. This is an interesting crossing of animal factoids, neither of which I knew. “In South America they’re known as ‘gallinas de palo,’ or ‘chickens of the tree,’” at 4A, solves to IGUANAS; 10D, “Porpoise, in old usage,” is SEAHOG. “Porpoise” is from the Old French for “ pig fish ,” which might have occurred to any of you who know your porc and poisson.
44A. This is one of those cases where a couple of letters from crossing entries that should have been hints somehow misled me. I had _ G _ R in this spot, for the clue “Clichéd name for a lab assistant,” and went with “agar” for some reason, the gel that goes in petri dishes for some science experiments. The answer, of course, is IGOR, Dr. Frankenstein’s right-hand man.
82A. The “Object with one hole or two, depending on whom you ask,” is a TUBE. (It’s two, right? Who knows ?)
86A. This pun rang especially true after I read up on the number of holes in a tube. “It can be a strain on the pupils” might refer to small type in a textbook and its effect on the eyes, but the entry plays on “pupils” as students buckling under the weight of a heavy COURSE LOAD.
2D. I was so sure that this quote came from Mae West! But no: “Who once quipped ‘I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception’” is GROUCHO Marx, apparently, although this zinger was spoken not onscreen but at a party.
24D. “Something a Brazilian is unlikely to wax” is a SKI, presumably one used in the water.
89D. My hunch is that most people will recognize this lilting song when they hear it, but “ORINOCO Flow,” the “song by Enya,” is making its debut as an entry in the Times crossword (despite being 35 years old !).
This puzzle started with the title — a friend said it in conversation while I was in “think up themes” mode, and it led to a reasonably tight set of words that can take the -URE suffix to change their meanings. My favorite theme clue and entry that didn’t make it into my submission for being too much of a stretch was “Misleading claims heard on a lot?” for (spoiler) USED CAR SALES MANURE. “Trivia” entries aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I was glad to include a reference to “ORINOCO Flow,” an Enya classic that hopefully yields a bit of nostalgia for some solvers and a lovely new discovery for others! It was also nice to have AIDY as a debut in the crossword, a small tribute from a fan of Aidy Bryant’s hilarious work on “Saturday Night Live.”
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CROSSWORD AUTHORING | Befuddling strangers and their chewed No. 2s as a newsstand cruciverbalist? Indeed. Though similar in difficulty to Wednesday/Thursday New York Times fare, these formerly weekly L Magazine crossword puzzles are peppered with mucho pop culture, mp3 references and local Big Apple lore plus general irreverence as befit the pub’s hipster audience. | WEEKLY DISTRIBUTION = 105,000; No special software used.
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