Study Recommends Cuts

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The report, by Tallahassee, Florida-based MGT of America, said the cuts could save nearly $3 million.

"These truancy officers are responsible for making sure our children are being educated and hold them responsible," said detective Denise McMullen of the Meridian Police Department.

Overall, the state has 143 attendance officers. The study found the program ineffective and costly.

The Education Department commissioned the $120,000 study. State Superintendent of Education Dr. Henry Johnson will use the findings to recommend changes to the state Board of Education.

The report found Mississippi's average daily attendance rate for the 2002-2003 school year was 96 percent. That's only a slight change compared to 94 percent a decade earlier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.