What are the truancy laws in the state of Texas?
A~ Compulsory School Attendance (Texas Education Code Sec. 25.085) A student between the ages of 6 and 18 MUST attend school and all District – required tutorial sessions unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused. Upon enrollment in prekindergarten or kindergarten, a child shall attend school.
B~ Failure To Attend (Texas Education Code Sec. 25.085) An individual, required to attend school, who is absent without excuse on ten or more days; or parts of days within a six month period. An individual, required to attend school, who is absent without excuse on three or more days; or parts of days within a four week period.
C~ Parent Contributing to Non Attendance (Texas Education Code Sec. 25.093) If a warning letter is issued, the parent with criminal negligence fails to require the child to attend school as required by law, and the child has ten or more days or parts of days within a six month period, or three or more days or parts of days within a four week period; the parent shall be charged.
We told the school our child was going to be out and they said okay. Why are we getting letters or having to go to court now?
As a parent you can take your child out of school, but if the excuse does not fall under what the State law allows the days will be counted as unexcused and if there are 3 or more you will receive the Compulsory Attendance Letter. If it was an unexcused absence, but you have documentation showing the reason(s) for having taken them out and you get a Summons to Appear in Court take the documentation with you and show it to the Judge.
Some of the dates on the letter I received are incorrect because my child was in class that day. Can they be fixed?
Yes, you need to contact the Attendance Clerk at your child's school and talk to them. They can check and if they find out the code is in error, they will notify our Office and together we can correct mistakes. If it was due to the fact that your child forgot to turn in the notes, the Attendance Clerk can put the notes in your student's file showing they were turned in.
How can I be filed on since I never received any of the letters about my child's attendance?
You should have also received phone calls from the school and you can go on-line and check your child's attendance periodically. The State requires we send a Compulsory Attendance Notification (CAN) letter and basically tells us what we need to advise the parent/guardian on. Our District allows us to send the Compulsory Attendance Notification letter first to allow parents five (5) school days to correct the absences. The letter is sent to the address that you have provided to your child's school. If you have moved, you need to be sure to change the information by contacting the Registrar at your child's school.
I sent notes but my child forgot to turn them in and now they say they cannot accept them. Why?
As Per District Policy parents must call the attendance office the morning of a student's absence. These polices can be found on-line or in the Student Handbook given at the beginning of each school year.
I cannot make my child get up and go to school. Can you come out and pick them up and make them go?
Officers are not allowed to come to your residence, pick up your child, and transport them to school.
What happens if I miss my court date or cannot make it on that date?
You will need to contact the Court as soon as possible and talk to them about resetting the Court date.
I cannot afford to take my child to the doctor every time they stay home sick, so what am i supposed to do?
In some instances, if your child is not feeling well you can take them to school and let the Nurse look at them. If the Nurse feels they need to stay home it would be an excused absence for that day.
What if my child has a chronic illness?
That is an issue that you need to take up with the school Nurse.
What am I supposed to do since the school won't change the attendance and I was told to call your office?
We cannot change attendance. Our responsibility is to monitor attendance and enforce Compulsory Attendance. The Attendance Clerks are the keepers of the records and make sure the codes are correct. If you feel something is incorrect, you need to contact the Attendance Clerk at your child's school.
What if I am homeless?
If you have enrolled your child in school even though you are homeless you are required to follow the laws about attendance. Transportation would be the one you talk to about your child riding a school bus to and from school, but until that has been sent up you are required to get your child to school and on time.