On Monday, the state Assembly considers legislation that would improve searches for missing children.

A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex) would require a parent or guardian to notify a school if a pupil will be absent, and requiring a school to notify a parent or guardian of an unexpected absence.

The bill stems from a 2003 incident when13-year-old Tennessee student Tabitha Tudor did not show up for school. The school failed to alert the Tudors. As a result, her parents did not learn that Tabitha was missing until after her father arrived home at 4:45 p.m. Due to the delay, law enforcement officials and Tabitha's parents lost an entire day before their search could begin. Tabitha is still missing.

The bill is to be heard at 1 p.m. by the Assembly Education Committee.