Help keep HOMESCHOOL STATE LAWS up to date! If any of these post links aren’t giving you the intended information or if the information contained in this post is out of date, please let us know by leaving a comment below.
As early as 1915 it has been legal to homeschool in Texas. The state and people of Texas consider homeschooling an inherent freedom as part of their American citizenship.
Although the law came into question in 1985 when the Texas Education Agency announced homeschooling as “illegal” because the word “homeschool” wasn’t specifically stated in the Texas Education Code. After 80 homeschool families had been criminally prosecuted for truancy (staying away from school without permission), a class action law suit was filed against every school district in Texas (that’s over 1,000 school districts!)
On April 13, 1987 the Leeper v. Arlington District Court case ended in favor of homeschool being considered a “private school”. It resulted in greater support of homeschool families throughout the state and helped to specify some of the following rights included in the Texas Homeschool Law.
Age of Required School Attendance
Children who are between the age of 6* to 18 years old are required to attend school,
attend a private school, (the Texas Education Code considers homeschool a private school)
attend a parochial school (i.e. a church school),
are at least 17 years old and receive a high school diploma or equivalent certificate,
are at least 17 years old and enroll in a preparation course for the high school equivalency examination.
*Children who are younger than six who enroll in preschool, kindergarten, or first grade, must attend school because they are on school records. The state will consider them truant if they are absent even though they are younger than the standard age requirement.
(See legal reference 1)
Qualifications to Homeschool
None. As a result of the Leeper vs. Arlington case mentioned above, parents who choose to homeschool do not need to have any specific qualifications.
Notify The School District
Another decision of the Leeper vs. Arlington case is that parents do not have to contact the school district to inform them that they have chosen to homeschool. They also do not have to submit to home visits, or get approval of their curriculum. Homeschool families must simply conduct their schooling in a bona fide manner (i.e. without fraud or a sham).
However, if your child has already been enrolled in a public school and you would like to transition to homeschooling you must officially withdraw your child by sending this email or letter to your school district.
The Texas Homeschool Law states that you must teach the following 5 required subjects…
The law suggests that this curriculum be in visual form (workbooks, books, video monitor) but as stated above you do not have to show proof of this to anyone.
(See legal reference 1)
Required Days/Hours of Instruction
None. A further benefit of the Leeper vs. Arlington case is the court’s statement that the school district can not require homeschoolers to participate in standardized testing.
It is not a requirement to keep records of your homeschooling, although the state of Texas encourages it.
Records can be a good resource to have when applying to a job or college. It is important to note here that the Texas homeschool law protects homeschool graduates from discrimination by Texas colleges. (See legal reference 2)
Records are beneficial for a possible court case or custody situation. Proof of your “bona fide” homeschooling can protect your rights as a homeschool parent!
Immunization Laws For Texas Homeschoolers
All Students, including homeschool students, must receive vaccinations according to Texas State Law. Although, the state of Texas does not require homeschool parents to keep record of immunizations or exemptions or to submit proof of immunizations.
(See legal reference 3)
- Texas Homeschool Law: Texas Education Code Ann. 25.085 (a-b) & 25.086 (a-1).
- No discrimination for Homeschoolers by Texas Colleges: Texas Education Code 51.9241.
- Texas Immunization Laws: Texas Health and Safety Code 2.H.161.A section 161.004-a.
This summary is for informational purposes only and is not given as legal advice. HomeschoolStateLaws.com does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed above.