Compulsory Attendance Law Texas Education Code, Chapter 25. §65.003 Texas Family Code
(a) A child engages in truant conduct if the child is required to attend school under Section 25.085, Education Code, and fails to attend school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year.
(b) Truant conduct may be prosecuted only as a civil case in a truancy court.
Elements of The Referral
1. A child (12 to 19 years old)
2. Who is required to attend school (a non-exempt child 6 to 19 years old)
3. Fails to attend school (unexcused absences)
4. On 10 or more days or parts of days within a 6-month period in the same school year
Compulsory Attendance Law
Persons Subject to Compulsory Attendance
Under §25.085, compulsory attendance applies to students who are at least six years old as of September 1 of the applicable school year. The law requires a student to attend public school until the student's 19th birthday, unless the student is exempt under §25.086.
Under §25.085(c), compulsory attendance also applies to students below the age for compulsory attendance during any period that the student is voluntarily enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten.
In addition, under §25.085(d), compulsory attendance applies to certain extended-year programs, tutorial classes, accelerated reading instruction programs, accelerated instruction programs, basic skills programs, and summer programs for students subject to certain disciplinary removals.
Compulsory attendance is enforced through §25.093 and new Chapter 65, Texas Family Code.
Timing of the Referral
When to Refer:
A school district shall refer a student engaging in truant conduct to truancy court within 10 days of the student’s 10th unexused absence. Education Code §25.0951
When NOT to Refer: Education Code §25.0915(a-3)
Being in foster care
Being the principal income provider for the student’s family
Certification of Truancy Prevention Measures (TPM)
A court referral must be accompanied by a statement from the school certifying the following:
The school applied truancy prevention measures to the student
The truancy preventions measures failed to meaningfully address the student’s attendance
Specify whether or not the student is eligible for or receives special education services under Chapter 29