Each parent of a child within the compulsory attendance age is responsible for the child’s school attendance as required by law. The absence of a student from school is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section; however, criminal prosecution under this chapter may not be brought against a parent until the provisions of s. 1003.26 have been complied with. A parent of a student is not responsible for the student’s nonattendance at school under any of the following conditions:
(1) WITH PERMISSION.—The absence was with permission of the head of the school;
(2) WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE.—The absence was without the parent’s knowledge, consent, or connivance, in which case the student shall be dealt with as a dependent child;
(3) FINANCIAL INABILITY.—The parent was unable financially to provide necessary clothes for the student, which inability was reported in writing to the superintendent prior to the opening of school or immediately after the beginning of such inability, provided that the validity of any claim for exemption under this subsection shall be determined by the district school superintendent subject to appeal to the district school board; or
(4) SICKNESS, INJURY, OR OTHER INSURMOUNTABLE CONDITION.—Attendance was impracticable or inadvisable on account of sickness or injury, as attested to by a written statement of a licensed practicing physician, or was impracticable because of some other stated insurmountable condition as defined by and attested to in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education. If a student is continually sick and repeatedly absent from school, he or she must be under the supervision of a physician, or if the absence is related to the student having autism spectrum disorder, receiving services from a licensed health care practitioner or behavior analyst certified pursuant to s. 393.17, in order to receive an excuse from attendance. Such excuse provides that a student’s condition justifies absence for more than the number of days permitted by the district school board.
Each district school board shall establish an attendance policy that includes, but is not limited to, the required number of days each school year that a student must be in attendance and the number of absences and tardinesses after which a statement explaining such absences and tardinesses must be on file at the school. Each school in the district must determine if an absence or tardiness is excused or unexcused according to criteria established by the district school board.