FD(LEGAL) - ADMISSIONS
A board or its designee shall admit into the public schools of a district free of tuition all persons who are over five and younger than 21 years of age on September 1 of any school year in which admission is sought, and may admit a person who is at least 21 and under 26 for the purpose of completing the requirements for a high school diploma, if any of the following conditions exist:
Student and Parent
The person and either parent reside in the district.
The person does not reside in the district, but one of the parents resides in the district and that parent is a joint managing conservator or the sole managing conservator or possessory conservator of the person.
Guardian or Person Having Lawful Control
The person and his or her guardian or other person having lawful control under an order of a court reside in the district.
Students Living Separate and Apart
The person is under the age of 18 and has established a separate residence in the district apart from his or her parent, guardian, or other person having lawful control under an order of a court and has established that the person's presence in the district is not for the primary purpose of participation in extracurricular activities. A board is not required to admit such person, however, if the person has:
- Engaged in conduct that resulted in removal to a disciplinary alternative education program or expulsion within the preceding year;
- Engaged in delinquent conduct or "conduct in need of supervision" and is on probation or other conditional release for that conduct; or
- Been convicted of a criminal offense and is on probation or other conditional release.
Education Code 25.001(a)–(b), (d)
Students Who Are Homeless
The person is homeless. [See also FDC]
- "Child who is homeless," "person who is homeless," and "student who is homeless" have the meaning assigned to the term homeless children and youths under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
- "Homeless children" under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, means children or youths who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and
- Children who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
- Children who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
- Children who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- Migratory children living in circumstances described above. "Migratory child'' means a child who made a qualifying move in the preceding 36 months:
- As a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher; or
- With, or to join, a parent or spouse who is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher. [See EEB]
Education Code 5.001(1-a), 25.001(b)(5); 20 U.S.C. 6399; 42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)
[For information regarding the transfer of records and other transition requirements for a student who is homeless, see FFC.]
Foreign Exchange Students
The person is a foreign exchange student placed with a host family that resides in the district by a nationally recognized foreign exchange program, unless the district has applied for and been granted a waiver by the commissioner of education because:
- This requirement would impose a financial or staffing hardship on the district;
- The admission would diminish the district's ability to provide high-quality education services for the district's domestic students; or
- The admission would require domestic students to compete with foreign exchange students for educational resources.
Education Code 25.001(b)(6), (e)
Students in Residential Facility
The person resides at a residential facility, as defined in Education Code 5.001, located in the district. For purposes of enrollment, a person who resides in a residential facility is considered a resident of the district in which the facility is located. Education Code 25.001(b)(7), 29.012(c)
Students Over 18
The person resides in the district and is 18 or older or the person's disabilities of minority have been removed. Education Code 25.001(b)(8)
The person does not reside in the district but the grandparent of the person:
- Resides in the district; and
- Provides a substantial amount of after-school care for the person as determined by the board.
Education Code 25.001(b)(9)
The person and either parent of the person reside in a residence homestead, as defined by Tax Code 11.13(j), that is located on a parcel of property any part of which is located in the district. Education Code 25.001(b)(10)
Proof of Eligibility
A district may require evidence that a person is eligible to attend the public schools of the district at the time it considers an application for admission of the person. A board or its designee shall establish minimum proof of residency acceptable to a district. A board or its designee may make reasonable inquiries to verify a person's eligibility for admission. When admission is sought under the provision at Students Living Separate and Apart above, a board shall determine whether an applicant qualifies as a resident of a district and may adopt reasonable guidelines for making that determination as necessary to protect the best interest of students. Education Code 25.001(c), (d)
"Residence" requires living in the district and having the present intention to remain there. Martinez v. Bynum, 461 U.S. 321 (1983)
A district may withdraw any student who ceases to be a resident. Daniels v. Morris, 746 F.2d 271 (5th Cir. 1984)
A person whose parent or guardian is an active-duty member of the armed forces of the United States, including the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces, may establish residency for purposes of eligibility of admission by providing to the district a copy of a military order requiring the parent's or guardian's transfer to a military installation in or adjacent to the district 's attendance zone. Education Code 25.001(c-1)
A person who establishes residency under Education Code 25.001(c-1) shall provide to the district proof of residence in the district's attendance zone not later than the tenth day after the arrival date specified in the military order. For purposes of this provision, "residence" includes residence in a military temporary lodging facility. Education Code 25.001(c-2)
Denying enrollment based upon immigration status to children who are not legally admitted into the United States violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)
High School Equivalency Certificate
A student who has received a high school equivalency certificate is entitled to enroll in a public school in the same manner as any other student who has not received a high school diploma. Education Code 29.087(h)
Substitute for Parent or Guardian
A board by policy may allow a person showing evidence of legal responsibility for a child other than an order of a court to substitute for a guardian or other person having lawful control of the child under court order. Education Code 25.001(j)
"Adult caregiver" means an adult person whom a parent has authorized to provide temporary care for a child under Family Code Chapter 34. Family Code 34.0015(1)
A parent, as defined in Family Code 101.024, or both parents of a child may enter into an authorization agreement with an adult caregiver to authorize the adult caregiver to perform acts described in Family Code 34.002 in regard to the child, such as:
- Authorizing medical, dental, psychological, or surgical treatment and immunization of the child, including executing any consents or authorizations for the release of information as required by law relating to the treatment or immunization;
- Enrolling the child in the district; and
- Authorizing the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities.
Family Code 34.002
A parent may enter into an authorization agreement with an adult caregiver with whom a child is placed under a parental child safety placement agreement approved by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to allow the person to perform the acts described above with regard to the child during an investigation of abuse or neglect or while the department is providing services to the parent. Family Code 34.0021
The authorization agreement must conform to the requirements of Family Code Chapter 34.
A child who is the subject of an authorization agreement is not considered to be placed in foster care and the parties to the agreement are not subject to any law or rule governing foster care providers. Family Code 34.0022(b)
An authorization agreement does not affect the rights of the child's parent or legal guardian regarding the care, custody, and control of the child, and does not mean that the adult caregiver has legal custody of the child. Family Code 34.007(b)
Only one authorization agreement may be in effect for a child at any time. Execution of a subsequent authorization agreement does not by itself supersede, invalidate, or terminate a prior authorization agreement. An authorization agreement is void if it is executed while a prior authorization agreement remains in effect. Family Code 34.002(d), .008(f)
An authorization agreement is for a term of six months and renews automatically for six-month terms unless an earlier expiration date is stated in the agreement, the agreement is terminated under Family Code 34.008, or a court authorizes continuation. Family Code 34.0075
A person who is not a party to the authorization agreement who relies in good faith on the authorization agreement, without actual knowledge that the authorization agreement is void, revoked, or invalid, is not subject to civil or criminal liability to any person, and is not subject to professional disciplinary action, for that reliance if the agreement is completed as required by Family Code Chapter 34. Family Code 34.007(a)
Note: The Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative (PDF) is available on the DFPS website.
Temporary Authorization for Care
A person eligible to consent to treatment of a child under Family Code 32.001 or a person eligible to enter an authorization agreement [see Authorization Agreement, above] may seek a court order for temporary authorization for care of a child by filing a petition in the district court in the county in which the person resides if:
- The child has resided with the person for at least the 30 days preceding the date the petition was filed; and
- The person does not have an authorization agreement or other signed, written documentation from a parent, conservator, or guardian that enables the person to provide necessary care for the child.
Family Code 35.001–.002
The order may authorize the petitioner to, among other things:
- Consent to medical, dental, psychological, and surgical treatment and immunization of the child;
- Enroll the child in the district; and
- Authorize the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities.
A temporary authorization order does not affect the rights of the child's parent, conservator, or guardian regarding the care, custody, and control of the child, and does not establish legal custody of the child. Family Code 35.007(b)
A person who relies in good faith on a temporary authorization order is not subject to civil or criminal liability to any person, or to professional disciplinary action. Family Code 35.007(a)
Students in Foster Care
A child placed in foster care by an agency of the state or a political subdivision shall be permitted to attend schools in the district in which the foster parents reside free of any charge to the foster parents or to the agency. A durational residence requirement may not be used to prohibit that child from fully participating in any activity sponsored by a district. Education Code 25.001(f)
A student who was enrolled in a primary or secondary public school before the student entered the conservatorship of DFPS and who is placed at a residence outside the attendance area for a school or outside a district is entitled to continue to attend the school in which the student was enrolled immediately before entering conservatorship until the student successfully completes the highest grade level offered by the school at the time of placement without payment of tuition. The student is entitled to continue to attend the school regardless of whether the student remains in the conservatorship of DFPS for the duration of the student's enrollment in the school. Education Code 25.001(g)
If a student who is in the conservatorship of DFPS is enrolled in a primary or secondary public school, other than the school in which the student was enrolled at the time the student was placed in the conservatorship of DFPS, the student is entitled to continue to attend that school without payment of tuition until the student successfully completes the highest grade level offered by the school at the time of enrollment in the school, even if the child's placement is changed to a residence outside the attendance area for that school or outside the district. The student is entitled to continue to attend the school regardless of whether the student remains in the conservatorship of DFPS for the duration of the student's enrollment in the school. Education Code 25.001(g-1)
A written case plan for any child in foster care under the responsibility of the state must include a plan for ensuring the educational stability of the child while in foster care, including:
- Assurances that each placement of the child in foster care takes into account the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child in enrolled at the time of placement; and
- An assurance that the appropriate state agency has coordinated with a district to ensure that the child remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of each placement; or if remaining in that school is not in the best interests of the child, assurances by the state agency and the district to provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school, with all of the educational records of the child provided to the school.
42 U.S.C. 675(1)(G), 675a [See CNA]
[For information regarding the transfer of records and other transition requirements for a student who is in substitute care, see FFC.]
Transfers from Other States
A district shall charge tuition for a student who resides in a residential facility and whose maintenance or expenses are paid in whole or in part by another state or the United States. Any such tuition charge must be submitted to the commissioner for approval. The attendance of students admitted under this provision shall not be counted for purposes of allocating state funds to a district. Education Code 25.003
Students Holding F-1 Student Visas
If a student is required, as a condition of obtaining or holding the appropriate U.S. student visa, to pay tuition to the district that the student attends to cover the cost of the student's education provided by the district, the district shall accept tuition for the student in an amount equal to the full unsubsidized per capita cost of providing the student's education for the period of the student's attendance at school in the district.
The commissioner shall develop guidelines for determining the amount of the full unsubsidized per capita cost of providing a student's education. A district may not accept tuition in an amount greater than the amount computed under the commissioner's guidelines unless the commissioner approves a greater amount as a more accurate reflection of the cost of education to be provided by the district.
The attendance of a student for whom a district accepts tuition is not counted for purposes of allocating state funds to the district.
Education Code 25.0031
Note: Enrolling students with F-1 visas is optional. If the district is interested in enrolling students with F-1 visas, it must comply with the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) under the Department of Homeland Security.
Texas Juvenile Justice Department
A school-age child of an employee of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) residing in an adjacent district may attend school in a district free of charge to his or her parents or guardian. Any tuition required by the admitting district shall be paid by the district from which the student transfers out of any funds appropriated to the TJJD facility. Education Code 25.042
A child must be enrolled by the child's parent, guardian, or other person with legal control under a court order. A district shall record the name, address, and date of birth of the person enrolling the child. Education Code 25.002(f)
A student must be identified by the student's legal surname as it appears on the student's birth certificate or other document suitable as proof of the student's identity, or in a court order changing the student's name. Education Code 25.0021
If a parent or other person with legal control of a child enrolls the child in a district school, the parent or other person, or the district in which the child most recently attended school, shall furnish to the district all of the following:
- The child's birth certificate, or another document suitable as proof of the child's identity as defined by the commissioner in the Student Attendance Accounting Handbook.
- A copy of the child's records from the school the child most recently attended if he or she was previously enrolled in a school in Texas or in another state.
- A record showing that the child has the immunizations required by Education Code 38.001, proof that the child is not required to be immunized, or proof that the child is entitled to provisional admission. [See FFAB]
Students shall not be denied enrollment or be removed solely because they fail to provide the documentation required in items 1 and 2, above.
Education Code 25.002(a); 19 TAC 129.1(a)–(b)
A district must furnish information under items 1 and 2 not later than the tenth working day after the date the district receives a request for the information.
A parent or other person with legal control of a child under a court order must furnish information under items 1 and 2 not later than the 30th day after the date a child is enrolled in a public school.
If a parent or other person with legal control of a child under a court order requests that a district transfer a child's student records, the district to which the request is made shall notify the parent or other person as soon as practicable that the parent or other person may request and receive an unofficial copy of the records for delivery in person to a school in another district.
Education Code 25.002(a-1)
Except for a juvenile pre-adjudication secure detention facility or a juvenile post-adjudication secure correctional facility, a residential facility shall provide to a district that provides educational services to a student placed in the facility any information retained by the facility relating to:
- The student's school records, including records regarding special education eligibility or services, behavioral intervention plans, school-related disciplinary actions, and other documents related to the student's educational needs;
- Any other behavioral history information regarding the student that is not confidential under another law; and
- The student's record of convictions or the student's probation, community supervision or parole status, as provided to the facility, if necessary to provide education services to the student.
Education Code 29.012(f), (g)
Summer School Enrollment
A district shall permit a person who is eligible under Education Code 25.001 [see General Eligibility, above] to attend school in the district but who is not enrolled in school in the district to enroll in a district summer school course on the same basis as a district student, including satisfaction of any course eligibility requirement and payment of any fee authorized under Education Code 11.158 [see FP] that is charged in connection with the course.
This requirement does not apply to enrollment in a Summer Intensive Mathematics Instruction Program under Education Code 29.088, a Summer Intensive Science Instruction Program under Education Code 29.090, or in a similar intensive program.
Education Code 25.008
Enrollment in Prekindergarten and Kindergarten
A parent or guardian may elect for a student to enroll in prekindergarten, if the student would have been eligible to enroll in prekindergarten during the previous school year under Education Code 29.153(b) [see EHBG] and the student has not yet enrolled in kindergarten, or enroll in kindergarten, if the student would have been eligible to enroll in kindergarten in the previous school year and has not yet enrolled in first grade. Education Code 28.02124 [See EIE]
Food Allergy Information
On enrollment, a district shall request, by providing a form or otherwise, that a parent or other person with legal control of the child under a court order disclose whether the child has a food allergy or a severe food allergy that, in the judgment of the parent or other person with legal control, should be disclosed to the district to enable the district to take any necessary precautions regarding the child's safety [see FB and FFAF]; and specify the food to which the child is allergic and the nature of the allergic reaction.
The district shall maintain the confidentiality of the provided information, and may disclose the information to teachers, school counselors, school nurses, and other appropriate school personnel only to the extent consistent with district policy under Education Code 38.009 and permissible under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g. [See FL]
"Severe food allergy" means a dangerous or life-threatening reaction of the human body to a food-borne allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact that requires immediate medical attention.
Education Code 25.0022(a)–(c)
Child in DFPS Possession
A district shall enroll a child without the required documentation if DFPS has taken possession of the child. DFPS shall ensure that the required documentation is furnished to a district not later than the 30th day after the date the child is enrolled. Education Code 25.002(g)
If a child is enrolled under a name other than the name that appears in the identifying documents or records, a district shall notify the missing children and missing persons information clearinghouse of the child's name as shown on the identifying records and the name under which the child is enrolled.
If the required documents and other records are not furnished to a district within 30 days after enrollment, the district shall notify the police department of the city or the sheriff's department of the county in which the district is located and request a determination of whether the child has been reported as missing.
Education Code 25.002(b)–(c)
Parent Contact Information
The parent of a student enrolled in a district shall provide in writing to the district:
- On enrollment of the student in the district and not later than two weeks after the beginning of each school year, the parent's address, phone number, and email address; and
- If the parent's contact information changes during the school year, not later than two weeks after the date the information changes, the parent's updated information.
Education Code 26.0125
Students Under 11
On enrollment of a child under 11 years of age in a school for the first time at the school, the school shall:
- Request from the person enrolling the child the name of each previous school attended by the child;
- Request from each school identified in item 1 the school records for the child and, if the person enrolling the child provides copies of previous school records, request verification from the school of the child's name, address, date, and grades and dates attended; and
- Notify the person enrolling the student that not later than the 30th day after enrollment, or the 90th day if the child was not born in the United States, the person
- A certified copy of the child's birth certificate; or
- Other reliable proof of the child's identity and age and a signed statement explaining the person's inability to produce a copy of the child's birth certificate.
If a person enrolls a child under 11 years of age in school and does not provide the valid prior school information or documentation required, the school shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency before the 31st day after the person fails to comply.
Code of Criminal Procedure 63.019
When accepting a child for enrollment, a district shall inform the parent or other person enrolling the child that presenting a false document or false records in connection with enrollment is a criminal offense under Penal Code 37.10 (Tampering with Governmental Records) and that enrolling the child under false documents makes the person liable for tuition or other costs as provided below. Education Code 25.002(d)
In addition to the penalty under Penal Code 37.10, a person who knowingly falsifies information on a form required for a student's enrollment in a district is liable to the district if the student is not eligible for enrollment, but is enrolled on the basis of false information. For the period during which the ineligible student is enrolled, the person is liable for the maximum tuition fee a district may charge [see FDA] or the amount a district has budgeted per student as maintenance and operating expense, whichever is greater. Education Code 25.001(h)
A district may include on its enrollment form notice of the legal penalties and liability for falsifying information on the form. Education Code 25.001(i)
Placement of Transfers
Credits and Records
A district shall accept all credits earned toward state graduation requirements by students in accredited Texas school districts, including credits earned in accredited summer school programs. Credits earned in local credit courses may be transferred at a district's discretion. Transfer students shall not be prohibited from attending school pending receipt of transcripts or academic records from the district the student previously attended. 19 TAC 74.26(a)(1)
A district shall grant a student credit toward the academic course requirements for high school graduation for courses the student successfully completes in TJJD educational programs. Education Code 30.104(a)
Each district shall consider course credit earned by a student while in a juvenile justice alternative education program as credit earned in a district school. Education Code 37.011(d)
Records and transcripts of students from Texas nonpublic schools or from out of state or out of the country (including foreign exchange students) shall be evaluated, and students shall be placed promptly in appropriate classes. A district may use a wide variety of methods to verify the content of courses for which a transfer student has earned credit. 19 TAC 74.26(a)(2)
[For information regarding educational placement of students who are homeless or in substitute care, see FFC.]
Foundation School Program
A person is entitled to the benefits of the available school fund for a school year if:
- On September 1 of the year, the person:
- Is at least five years of age and under 21 years of age, and has not graduated from high school;
- Is at least 21 years of age and under 26 years of age and is admitted by a school district to complete the requirements for a high school diploma; or
- Is at least 18 years of age and under 50 years of age and is enrolled in an adult education program provided under the adult high school charter school program under Education Code Chapter 12, Subchapter G.
- The person is enrolled in prekindergarten under Education Code 29.153 [see EHBG].
- The person is younger than five years of age and performs satisfactorily on the state assessment instrument administered to third graders and a district has adopted a policy to admit students younger than five years of age.
- The person is enrolled in the first grade and is at least six years of age at the beginning of the current school year or has been enrolled in the first grade, or has completed kindergarten, in the public schools of another state before transferring to a Texas public school.
Education Code 25.001(a), 48.003
The principal of each district school shall ensure that each student admitted to that school has complied with requirements for screening of special senses and communication disorders, spinal screening, and a risk assessment for Type 2 diabetes, or has submitted an affidavit of exemption. Health and Safety Code 36.005, 37.002, 95.003(c) [See FFAA]
Pest Control Information
Chief administrators or the integrated pest management (IPM) coordinators of schools must notify the parents or guardians of children attending the facility in writing that pesticides are periodically applied indoors and outdoors, and that information on the times and types of applications and prior notification is available upon request. Such notification must be made at the time of the students' registration. Telephonic, written, or electronic notification of planned applications will meet the notification requirements. 4 TAC 7.148(c); Occupations Code 1951.455(b) [See CLB]