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Texas Compulsory Education Laws

Every state requires children of a certain age to obtain a formal education, whether it's from public school, private school, home school, or another institution. Texas compulsory education laws require kids between the ages of six and eighteen (younger with a high school diploma) to attend school. There are exceptions to these regulations, including enrollment in a Texas Academy of Leadership program, being expelled from school, and having a serious disability that makes school enrollment infeasible.

Learn more about Texas compulsory education laws in the table below. You can also check out FindLaw's Compulsory Education section and the links following this article for more information and resources.

Code Section

Texas Education Code Chapter 25: Admission, Transfer and Attendance

Age at Which School Attendance is Required

Unless an exception applies, students between ages six and eighteen are required to attend school in Texas.

Exceptions to Attendance Requirements

A student may be exempt from the compulsory education requirements for the following reasons:

  • The child attends a private or parochial school which includes a course in good citizenship;
  • The child is eligible for special education and cannot be appropriately served by the school district;
  • The child has a physical or mental condition that makes attendance infeasible;
  • The child has been expelled from school and the school district does not have a mandatory juvenile justice alternative education program;
  • The child is at least sixteen years old and, among other requirements, is enrolled in a course to prepare for the high school equivalency examination;
  • The child is seventeen and has a high school certificate; or
  • The child is enrolled in Texas Academy of Leadership in Humanities, Texas Academy of Math and Sciences, Texas Academy of International Studies, or the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at the University of Texas at Brownville.

Home School Provisions

Student must be taught in legitimate manner from curriculum designed to meet basic education goals.

Penalties on Parents for Noncompliance

Parents will receive a written warning if their child has a certain number of unexcused absences. Parents who fail to comply with the compulsory education laws may face criminal charges for a Class C misdemeanor.

If you are the parent of school-aged child in Texas and you have additional questions about the compulsory education laws, you may want to contact a Texas education attorney.

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Texas Compulsory Education Laws: Related Resources

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