Bibb County leaders have a warning for parents tonight-if your kids aren't in school you could face a penalty.
State Solicitor Otis Scarbury says, "That parent or that guardian or person responsible for that child can go to jail for up to 30 days.
It's a long standing problem."3,328 students last year had more than 5 days of unexcused absences," says Superintendent Dr. Romain Dallemand.
That number has left the community to suffer.
District Attorney Greg Winters says, "Unfortunately, we see a lot of these individuals that do not attend school regularly they end up before us."
Now, the pressure is on for parents to make sure their kids go to school.
Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards says. "There will be consequences...benefits may hang in the balance."
A tighter partnership between the Bibb County Board of Education and DFACS will check on how many days students miss and how often parents engage in teacher conferences.
"The children cry for help and we can't sit by anymore and let this continue to happen to our children," says DFCS Director Marjorie Almand.
If students miss too many days money their parents receive could be cut by at least 25%.
Edwards says, "We need parents to be partners with the school system. This is a problem that cannot be solved by police officers."
The Bibb county school system will play a part too. Superintendent Dr. Dallemand says the school will be more proactive in stopping truancy. He says, "Calling the homes, visiting the homes, working with our community partners, working with our faith based community...we will engage into a variety of methods to make sure we bring our students to school."
It's a message leaders want to make loud and clear.
"Anytime you see children school aged that ought to be in school please let somebody know," says Edwards.