A District school spokesman says truancy in the 2009-2010 school year dropped by 30 percent from the previous year, the result of “aggressive steps” taken to combat students’ skipping.

The comments to The Washington Examiner were made in response to D.C. Councilman David Catania’s statement Thursday that he wants to overhaul the system and increase repercussions for parents of truant children.

“Before education reform, schools were not even taking attendance,” the spokesman said in an email. “Since then, DCPS has taken aggressive steps over the past year to combat truancy.”

Those steps include mandating every school have an attendance committee composed of school staff that reviews schoolwide attendance data and creates intervention plans for students who are excessively absent. A new computer system tracks the steps taken in the “truancy protocol,” which starts with calling parents and ends 25 days later with referring unresponsive parents to D.C.’s Superior Court.