Texas Homeschooling Laws

Parental responsibility protected and upheld by the Texas Constitution. In Texas there are no homeschooling laws nor requirements.

The Governor of Texas says: “In Texas, we view home schooling as something to be respected and protected – respected for the energy and commitment of parents; protected from the interference of government. Texas does not index or monitor home school programs.”

*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. At this point in time, in spite of the title of this page, there is no education code applicable to homeschooling in Texas. Parental responsibility is protected & upheld by the Texas Constitution. The Texas legislature is given authority over the public free school system only; furthermore, the Texas Education Code is specifically designed for and applicable only to state tax funded educational institutions, per its applicability section which is quoted below.

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Compulsory attendance – Between 6 and 17 years of age.

Legislature given authority over public free school system only

  1. Texas Education Code specifically designed for and applicable to state tax funded educational institutions only
  2. No minimum number of days taught per year.
  3. No testing requirements.
  4. No formal filing required, though recommended you tell the school’s office you are withdrawing your child.

Texas Education Code Annotated

TITLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 1.001. APPLICABILITY

(a) This code applies to all educational institutions supported in whole or in part by state tax funds unless specifically excluded by this code.

(b) Except as provided by Chapter 19, Subchapter A, Chapter 29,or Subchapter E, Chapter 30, this code does not apply to students, facilities, or programs under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Department of Human Services, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or any juvenile probation agency.

You are not required to file any papers or notify anyone
that you are homeschooling your children in Texas.

If they are already enrolled in a public school, you can tell the school’s office that the child is going to be homeschooled or is going to be attending a private school. In Texas, a homeschool is a private school. Some districts may want to give you a hard time, but you have every legal right to homeschool without their blessings.

HOMESCHOOL COURT CASE
GARY W. LEEPER ET AL VERSUS
ARLINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT ET AL
FINAL JUDGMENT SEPTEMBER 4TH, 1987

“It is, therefore, ordered, adjudged and decreed that a school-age child residing in the state of Texas who is pursuing under the direction of a parent or parents or one standing in parental authority in or through the child’s home in a bona fide (good faith, not a sham or subterfuge) manner a curriculum consisting of books, workbooks, or written materials including that which appears on an electronic screen of either a computer or video tape monitor, or any combination of the preceding from (1) either one of a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child home or (2) which has been developed or obtained from any source, said curriculum designed to meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship, is in attendance upon a private or parochial school within the meaning of Section 21.033 (a) (1) of the Texas Education Code and exempt from the requirements of compulsory attendance at a public school…”

“This JUDGMENT does not preclude the Texas Education agency, the Commissioner of Education or the State Board of Education from suggesting to the public school attendance officers lawful methods, including but not limited to inquiry concerning curricula and standardized test scores, in order to ascertain if there is compliance with the declaration contained in this JUDGMENT. However, this JUDGMENT is not to be interpreted as requiring standardized test scores in order for there to be compliance with interpretation made by the court of section 21.033 (a) (1) of the Texas Education Code …”

Chas. J. Murray-District Court Judge
17th Judicial
District Court of Texas

Leeper Case Upheld on Appeal

On Wednesday, June 15, 1994, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously upheld the appeal of the Arlington v. Leeper case, which defined the current home-schooling rights of parents in the state of Texas. In a 30 page ruling, the court upheld the lower court rulings which said that students attending legitimate home schools are not required to attend public schools. The court said that the Texas Education Agency had no legal basis for the prosecution of 150 homeschooling families and that legitimate home schools are exempt from the state’s compulsory attendance law.

The Supreme Court agreed with the district court’s ruling that a home school was considered legitimate if parents used some sort of curriculum consisting of books, workbooks or other written materials and that they met “basic education goals” by teaching reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and good citizenship. Once that standard is met, the state’s authority ends, although the district court said school officials could ask home-school parents about curricula and standardized tests.

The Supreme Court specifically said Wednesday that the Texas Education Agency could request evidence of standardized test, even though home-school parents are not required to give such tests. The Court also said that any new rules on home schools written by the State Board of Education would be subject to judicial review. The Supreme Court also lifted, as unnecessary, a permanent injunction barring school districts from charging parents who educate their children at home with criminal violations. The court said that Texas law was never intended to criminalize home schooling and noted that home schools were a historical practicality for many Texas families in the 20th century.

And, finally, in an 8-1 decision, the Court upheld the ruling that the state pay $360,000 in attorney fees for the plaintiffs. (The above article compiled from various news sources.)

Other Resources

2014 Switched on Schoolhouse Texas State History for Grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

2014 Switched on Schoolhouse Texas State History for Grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
by Alpha Omega Publications [A Christian Publisher]
*Switched-On Schoolhouse makes homeschooling easy and fun.
*Video Clips: Integrated into the curriculum, videos give students an up-close look at subject topics.
*Built-in Calendar: The calendar features allow you to assign/unassign school days, exclude date ranges, and add/remove events like field trips or holidays, and much much more. See the Features image above to see all the features of Switched on Schoolhouse.

The Texas Constitution Article 7 – EDUCATION
Section 1 – SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS
A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.

Texas Education Agency
Correspondence regarding homeschooling, April 8, 2013. “The decision rendered in Leeper vs. Arlington clearly establishes that students who are home schooled are exempt from the compulsory attendance requirement to the same extent as students enrolled in private schools.” Information about transferring to public school after being homeschooled.

More Texas Homeschooling Resources

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