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Homeschool Legally: Texas Homeschool Laws

written by: Deidra Alexander • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 8/2/2012

Sometimes, a state's low level of involvement in the homeschooling scene can cause a flurry of confusion and the spread of misinformation about leaving public education. Texas homeschool laws place little formality on this route to education for parents and tutors.

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    If you live in Texas, you should have a good understanding of the Texas homeschool laws before beginning curriculum work. Here, an overview is provided.

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    What to Expect

    If you live in Texas, you should have a good understanding of the Texas homeschool laws before beginning curriculum work. Here, an overview is provided.

    Approved Program(s): The Texas Education Agency (TEA) deems homeschool programs classifiable as private schools. For legitimate consideration, the parent needs to prove to the TEA, in an unspecified fashion, that the program is substantial. The components of the program also must be tangible. Curriculum must cover all basic subject areas from reading, grammar, spelling, and mathematics, to good citizenship. Regulations in this state are not strict in the sense that the government intervenes at every point of the process, but there are some general rules to apply for legal homeschool.

    Special Conditions:

    • Parents can choose their own programs or develop their own but there has to be something to show the state agency.
    • Tutors and other parents can homeschool a child in Texas. Certification of homeschoolers is not necessary.
    • Curriculum will not be monitored. State curriculum is obtainable for a $50.00 fee per copy to use in a homeschool.
    • Compulsory attendance is not enforced in homeschools just as they are not in private and parochial schools. School officials can inquire about attendance but doing so has to be within reason. The only authorities having jurisdiction over compulsory attendance in the state of Texas are local districts and judges.
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    Understanding the Process

    Besides understanding the Texas homeschool laws, it is also important that you have a working knowledge of the mechanics of providing a home-based education. Here is information about additional requirements:

    Application: School officials can request a letter of assurance from homeschoolers of their status, but a formal application is not required for home study. This letter is not necessary for annual notice. When supplied, it should include intention of teaching the student basic reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship. In the event that the homeschool is terminated for the student, a withdrawal form or letter is sent in to the district.

    Transferring Credit: Credits are transferable under the same conditions set for unaccredited private schools.

    Standardized Testing: Transfer of students is done with assessment reports when appropriate (TAKS or TAAS by grade level or credit by examination) as determined by local districts. In these cases, the reports are not evaluated at a level higher than they would be for a child transferring from a private school that lacks accreditation. Assessment instruments must be valid and reliable.

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    Reentry: A curriculum, course study, or actual work samples from the homeschool are usable criteria for determining reentry placement into the public school system. Advanced placement is attainable based on achievement.

    Materials: Texas does not provide textbooks or any other supplies to homeschools. Local school districts do not have to provide these materials or help parents with purchasing.

    Graduation: Homeschoolers cannot receive a diploma from theTEA.

    Special Education: Texas Special Kids serves families and children with special needs who need access to services and educational and developmental resources on a non-profit level. The state of Texas does not state rules on homeschooling special needs students but it is noted that a free and appropriate education is extendable to all students through federal law.

    The information given here is findable on the Texas Education Agency website. Please inquire within that site for definite answers to homeschooling questions or problems homeschooling in this state. There are several organizations across Texas that work on legal matters and offer further resources regarding the Texas homeschool laws. The TEA is not affiliated with any of these agencies requiring homeschoolers to research and join them as beneficial to their particular situation.

    Source:

    Texas Education Agency: Home School Information