The head of Hamilton County Schools and the county's Juvenile Court judge are putting their heads together over how to stop years of finger-pointing and miscommunication and fix problems with how truant students are handled.

They are working from a report submitted Wednesday by a 17-member task force highlighting loopholes and a start-to-finish assessment of problems with how truancy cases are tracked, reported and resolved.

"This is a very serious problem," School Superintendent Rick Smith said.

"We're not the bad guy and the court's not the bad guy. We're doing the best that we can to ensure that child gets a good education," Smith said. "When you see a person who hasn't gotten a good education, we're all paying for it."

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