Attendance, Admission, Enrollment Records, and Tuition – August 2017 TEA Reminder to Principals

This area is being spotlighted by TEA.  As a candidate for principal certification you might want to review this material.   Dr. CR

The statutes described in this part apply to open-enrollment charter schools in addition to school districts.

Persons Subject to Compulsory Attendance

Under §25.085,[3] 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 Chapter 65, Texas Family Code. [4]

Compulsory Attendance Exemptions

Section 25.086 lists the exemptions from compulsory attendance. [5] Three of the exemptions are addressed below:   This is GREAT Scenario material!!  Dr. CR

  • Expelled Students
  • 17-year-old preparation course for high school equivalency examination
  • 16-year-old preparation course for high school equivalency examination

Designation of School Attendance Officer

Under §25.088, the governing body of a school district or of an open-enrollment charter school may select an attendance officer to enforce the attendance of students. Under §25.090, if an independent school district does not select an attendance officer, the superintendent and local peace officers of the county and district must perform the duties of an attendance officer. If an open-enrollment charter school does not select an attendance officer, county peace officers must perform the duties of an attendance officer with respect to students in the open-enrollment charter school.

Duties of School Attendance Officer

Section 25.091 lists the duties of a school attendance officer. The section lists separately the duties of attendance officers who are peace officers and the duties of those who are not peace officers. Please note that the statute authorizes an attendance officer to refer a student to truancy court only for “unexcused absences.” Excused absences are not included in the number of absences required for a referral or complaint. [14] In addition to enrolled students with unexcused absences, a school attendance officer’s duties extend to persons within compulsory attendance age who are not exempt from compulsory attendance and are not enrolled in school.

Section 25.091(b-1) authorizes a peace officer who has probable cause to believe that a child is in violation of the compulsory school attendance law under §25.085 to take the child into custody for the purpose of returning the child to the child’s school campus. [15]

An attendance officer is required to apply truancy prevention measures adopted by the district under §25.0915 and may make a referral to truancy court under §25.091 only if the truancy prevention measures fail to meaningfully address the student’s conduct. Each referral must specify whether the student is eligible for or receives special education services and must be accompanied by a statement from the student’s school certifying that the school applied the truancy prevention measures and the measures failed to meaningfully address the student’s school attendance.

*Remember NOT to get the two people above confused.  A Peace Officer can operate differently than an Attendance Office.  Go over that material in the Principal Tool Kit.

Attendance, Admission, Enrollment Records, and Tuition – August 2017 TEA Reminder to Principals
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