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Compulsory Attendance Law

Attendance Officer School Assignments

SUBCHAPTER C. OPERATION OF SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

Section 25.085. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.

(a) A child who is required to attend school under this section shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is provided.

(b) Unless specifically exempted by Section 25.086, a child who is at least six years of age, or who is younger than six years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not yet reached the child’s 18th birthday shall attend school.

(c) On enrollment in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, a child shall attend school.

(d) Unless specifically exempted by Section 25.086, a student enrolled in a school district must attend:

(1) an extended-year program for which the student is eligible that is provided by the district for students identified as likely not to be promoted to the next grade level or tutorial classes required by the district under Section 29.084;

(2) an accelerated reading instruction program to which the student is assigned under Section 28.006(g);

(3) an accelerated instruction program to which the student is assigned under Section 28.0211; or

(4) a basic skills program to which the student is assigned under Section 29.086.

(e) A person who voluntarily enrolls in school or voluntarily attends school after the person’s 18th birthday shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is offered. A school district may revoke for the remainder of the school year the enrollment of a person who has more than five absences in a semester that are not excused under Section 25.087. A person whose enrollment is revoked under this subsection may be considered an unauthorized person on school district grounds for purpose of Section 37.107.

HOME VISITS PROCEDURES

Truancy Home Visits – Will be done at the discretion of the Attendance Officer, if:

  • No phone contact can be established
  • Student is not attending school
  • A parent request’s a home visit
  • A school administrator request’s a home visit

Verification of Addresses – Will be done at the discretion of the Attendance Officer, if:

Notarized Statement of Residency has NOT been verified by their 30 day period.

Received return mail. Please see Texas Education Code § 25.002. REQUIREMENTS FOR ENROLLMENT.

Extraordinary circumstances may be approved at the discretion of your Attendance Officer.

NOTE : Truancy home visits and Verification of Addresses will be prioritized at the discretion of the District Attendance Officer. All home visits MUST be referred using the Residency Check Form.

HARRIS COUNTY COURTS

Please use the following website to locate your Truancy Case:

http://www.ccl.hctx.net/

GUIDELINES FOR A REFERRAL

School personnel will refer student absences to the Cypress-Fairbanks District Attendance Officer using the following guidelines:

Three (3) days or parts of days for unexcused absences within a four-week period (May file court case for Failure to Attend School and/or Parent Contributing to Nonattendance).

Ten (10) days or parts of days for unexcused absences within a six-month period (Shall file a court case for Failure to Attend School and/or Parent Contributing to Nonattendance).

Five (5) consecutive days of absence without illness verification being provided by a parent or guardian or a health care provider.

Note: Unexcused arrival at a class after more than ten (10) minutes of the class period shall be regarded as an unexcused absence .

*Referrals for failure to attend school will be investigated by a District Attendance Officer.

WARNING NOTICES TO PARENTS

A student absent from school three (3) days or parts of days in a four-week period without an excuse will generate a court warning letter to the parent(s) or guardian(s). Any more absences without an excuse MAY subject the student and/or parent(s) or guardian(s) to prosecution for Failure to attend school TEC Sec. 25.094 and/or for Parent Contributing to Nonattendance TEC Sec. 25.093

A student absent from school ten (10) or more days or parts of days in a six-month period without excuse, SHALL be subject student and/or parent(s) or guardian(s) to prosecution for Failure to attend school TEC Sec. 25.094 and/or for Parent Contributing to Nonattendance TEC Sec. 25.093

FAILURE TO ATTEND SCHOOL

Texas Education Code Chapter 25

Sec. 25.094. FAILURE TO ATTEND SCHOOL. (a) An individual commits an offense if the individual:

(1) is required to attend school under Section 25.085; and

(2) fails to attend school on 10 or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.

(b) An offense under this section may be prosecuted in:

(1) the constitutional county court of the county in which the individual resides or in which the school is located, if the county has a population of two million or more;

(2) a justice court of any precinct in the county in which the individual resides or in which the school is located; or

(3) a municipal court in the municipality in which the individual resides or in which the school is located.

(c) On a finding by the county, justice, or municipal court that the individual has committed an offense under Subsection (a) or on a finding by a juvenile court in a county with a population of less than 100,000 that the individual has engaged in conduct that violates Subsection (a), the court may enter an order that includes one or more of the requirements listed in Article 45.054, Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by Chapter 1514, Acts of the 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001.

(d) If the county, justice, or municipal court believes that a child has violated an order issued under Subsection (c), the court may proceed as authorized by Article 45.050, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(d-1) Pursuant to an order of the county, justice, or municipal court based on an affidavit showing probable cause to believe that an individual has committed an offense under this section, a peace officer may take the individual into custody. A peace officer taking an individual into custody under this subsection shall:

(1) promptly notify the individual's parent, guardian, or custodian of the officer's action and the reason for that action; and

(2) without unnecessary delay:

(A) release the individual to the individual's parent, guardian, or custodian or to another responsible adult, if the person promises to bring the individual to the county, justice, or municipal court as requested by the court; or

(B) bring the individual to a county, justice, or municipal court with venue over the offense.

(e) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

(f) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that one or more of the absences required to be proven under Subsection (a) were excused by a school official or by the court or that one or more of the absences were involuntary, but only if there is an insufficient number of unexcused or voluntary absences remaining to constitute an offense under this section. The burden is on the defendant to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the absence has been excused or that the absence was involuntary. A decision by the court to excuse an absence for purposes of this section does not affect the ability of the school district to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.

(g) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that one or more of the absences required to be proven under Subsection (a) was involuntary. The burden is on the defendant to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the absence was involuntary.

(h) Deleted by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 4.

(i) Deleted by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 4.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1297, Sec. 55, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 6 to 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 39, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 949, Sec. 36, eff. September 1, 2005.

PARENTS CONTRIBUTING TO NONATTENDANCE

Texas Education Code Chapter 25

Sec. 25.093. PARENT CONTRIBUTING TO NONATTENDANCE. (a) If a warning is issued as required by Section 25.095(a), the parent with criminal negligence fails to require the child to attend school as required by law, and the child has absences for the amount of time specified under Section 25.094, the parent commits an offense.

(b) The attendance officer or other appropriate school official shall file a complaint against the parent in:

(1) the constitutional county court of the county in which the parent resides or in which the school is located, if the county has a population of two million or more;

(2) a justice court of any precinct in the county in which the parent resides or in which the school is located; or

(3) a municipal court of the municipality in which the parent resides or in which the school is located.

(c) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class C misdemeanor. Each day the child remains out of school may constitute a separate offense. Two or more offenses under Subsection (a) may be consolidated and prosecuted in a single action. If the court orders deferred disposition under Article 45.051, Code of Criminal Procedure, the court may require the defendant to provide personal services to a charitable or educational institution as a condition of the deferral.

(d) A fine collected under this section shall be deposited as follows:

(1) one-half shall be deposited to the credit of the operating fund of, as applicable:

(A) the school district in which the child attends school;

(B) the open-enrollment charter school the child attends; or

(C) the juvenile justice alternative education program that the child has been ordered to attend; and

(2) one-half shall be deposited to the credit of:

(A) the general fund of the county, if the complaint is filed in the justice court or the constitutional county court; or

(B) the general fund of the municipality, if the complaint is filed in municipal court.

(e) At the trial of any person charged with violating this section, the attendance records of the child may be presented in court by any authorized employee of the school district or open-enrollment charter school, as applicable.

(f) The court in which a conviction, deferred adjudication, or deferred disposition for an offense under Subsection (a) occurs may order the defendant to attend a program for parents of students with unexcused absences that provides instruction designed to assist those parents in identifying problems that contribute to the students' unexcused absences and in developing strategies for resolving those problems if a program is available.

(g) If a parent refuses to obey a court order entered under this section, the court may punish the parent for contempt of court under Section 21.002, Government Code.

(h) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for an offense under Subsection (a) that one or more of the absences required to be proven under Subsection (a) was excused by a school official or should be excused by the court. The burden is on the defendant to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the absence has been or should be excused. A decision by the court to excuse an absence for purposes of this section does not affect the ability of the school district to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.

(i) In this section, "parent" includes a person standing in parental relation.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1403, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1504, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 137, Sec. 4, 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 6.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

BASIC NEEDS

Cypress Community Assistance Ministries
281-955-7684
www.cypressassistanceministries.com

Harris County Department of Social Services
713-696-7900

Katy Christian Assistance Ministries
281-391-5261
www.ktm.org

Northwest Assistance Ministries
281-885-4555
www.namonline.org

Social Security Administration
1-800-772-1213
www.ssa.gov

Texas Health and Human Services
713-767-2095
www.dshs.state.tx.us

Texas Information & Referral Emergency Food/Shelter
(United Way Helpline)
211 or 713-957-4357

Harris County Community Youth Services
713-394-4000

EDUCATIONAL/VOCATIONAL 

Job Corps
1-800-733-5627

Lone Star College - Cy-Fair
281-290-3200

Houston Community College
713-718-2000

Montgomery Community College
936-273-7000

Tomball Community College
281-357-3676

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Teen Pregnancy/Parenting Program
281-517-2881

Career & Recovery Resources 
713-754-7000

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Office of Student Admissions, Transfers & Attendance
281-517-6342

MEDICAL/IMMUNIZATIONS 

Breath of Life Children's Center
281-398-7356

Clinica Hispanica
281-897-8142

Gold Card Eligibility Centers
713-566-6691
www.hchdonline.com

Harris County Community Health Dept.
713-439-6000
www.harriscountyhealth.com

San Jose Clinic
713-228-9411

Tex Care Partnership
1-800-647-6558
www.chipmedicaid.org

Tomagwa Medical Clinic
281-357-0747

Christ Clinic at Memorial Lutheran Church
281-391-0190

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