School districts now may choose to slap fines of up to $25 on students who play hooky repeatedly.

The State Board of Education Friday approved a fee schedule that may serve as a model for local districts that choose to implement it.The procedures, developed to implement SB55, passed during the last regular legislative session, would authorize districts to set up a tiered fee schedule to make habitual truants pay a penalty for poor attendance.

The schedule begins with a warning for the first offense, graduates to a $10 (maximum) fee on the second offense and adds $5 increments up to $25.

Board members were lukewarm in their expectations that the truancy fees will have any significant impact but hopeful they will be an impetus for districts to look more seriously at the problem, which costs school districts considerable money.

"This might be one way to accomplish getting the districts to act," said Darlene Hutchison, chairwoman of the board's Curriculum and Supportive Education Committee.