What are the attendance requirements for children in Texas?

| Jan 7, 2021 | Naturalization |

All school-age students in Texas, including migrant children, need to meet attendance requirements to avoid truancy issues. There are some additional important details of the law that parents must know as well, such as pre-K and Kindergarten requirements and what the responsibilities of schools are in reporting unexcused absences.

From 6 to 19 years old

Once a migrant child turns 6 years old, compulsory school attendance applies to them as of September 1. They need to attend school until their 19th birthday unless a legal exemption applies to them. If your child is under 6 but is attending pre-K or Kindergarten, the law also requires attendance.

The responsibility of schools

School districts and open-enrollment charter schools must inform parents of attendance requirements at the beginning of the school year. If your child misses a certain number of days, their school or open-enrollment charter school needs to send you a notice. Tardies typically don’t count as absences for compulsory attendance.

Truancy prevention measures

Texas law requires your child’s school or open-enrollment charter school to implement truancy prevention measures if your kid misses three or more days during a four-week period. If your child accumulates 10 or more unexcused absences during a 6-month period, then you should receive a truancy referral.

Voluntary enrollment of 19-year-olds

Attendance laws apply to children 19 and above if they voluntarily enroll in school. They must meet compulsory attendance requirements for the entire enrollment period. Their school can revoke their enrollment if they accumulate more than five unexcused absences in a semester.

The district needs to inform them after their third unexcused absence that they may revoke their enrollment if they exceed five unexcused absences during the semester. Schools cannot revoke their enrollment on a day that the student is present in school. Some school districts implement a behavior improvement plan under §25.0915(a-1)(1) instead of revoking the student’s enrollment.

The 90% rule

Public schools require students to show up for 90% of a course’s days in order to earn credit. Some open-enrollment charter schools also use the 90% rule for a student’s credit eligibility.

Knowing what the law is regarding school attendance for migrant children is important to ensure your child is staying within the law. You can consult with a lawyer who practices in the area of citizenship/naturalization law if you have any questions or uncertainties.