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New Truancy Law

 Gavel

 
During the recently completed legislative session, the 84th Texas Legislature approved – and Governor Greg Abbott signed into law – legislation that makes changes to the current truancy law. The new law changes the truancy offense from being criminal to civil, and goes into effect on Tuesday, September 1. Below is a summary of the changes.

 

  • If a student fails to attend school for three or more days (unexcused), in part or whole, within a four-week period, the student’s parents will receive a warning letter from the district. The letter ask the parent to contact the school to schedule a meeting with officials to discuss his/her child’s absences and to collaborate in the development of Truancy Prevention Measures.
  • A truancy prevention measure will be put into place at this time, and can be one of the following:
            o  Behavior improvement plan

            o  School-based community service

            o  Refer student to counseling, mediation, mentoring, a teen court program, community-based services or other in-school or out-of-school service aimed at preventing a student’s truancy

  • If a student fails to attend school for 10 or more days (unexcused), in part or whole, within a 6-month period, the school is required to refer the student and/or parent to a truancy court for prosecution.

 

For more information, you can speak with your student’s campus behavior coordinator, or read a release from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).