Homeschooling: Is it Legal?

hammer 200Yes. The following is not intended as legal advice since I am not a lawyer. The following is for informational purposes only. Homeschools are considered private school in Texas and the state has no authority to regulate private schools.

There are three basic requirements to homeschool in Texas.

  1. You must homeschool in “a bona fide (good faith, not a sham or subterfuge) manner.”

  2. As a parent you must provide “a curriculum designed to meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship.”

  3. You must have

a curriculum consisting of books, workbooks, other 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 either (1) of a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child’s home or (2) which has been developed or obtained from any source.

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From the Texas Education Agency Website (This will take you to the TEA website for the latest version of the Homeschool information letter.)

For most of this century, Texas has exempted children enrolled in a private or parochial school from compulsory school attendance. In the case of Leeper et al. v. Arlington ISD et al., the Supreme Court of Texas affirmed a decision by District Judge Charles J. Murray holding that a school age child residing in Texas who is pursuing, under direct supervision of his/her parents, a curriculum designed to meet basic education goals is attending a private school within the meaning of Section 25.086(a)(1) of the Texas Education Code and is therefore exempt from compulsory school attendance. This case has a statewide application because school districts in the state and certain state officials were parties to the suit.

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From the 1987 Leeper v Arlington Decision (This link will take you to a pdf file on the Texas Home School Coalition website.)

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, other 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 either (1) of a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child’s 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.

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From the 1994 Leeper v Arlington Appeal (This link will take you to a pdf on the Texas Home School Coalition website.)

The Legislature has indicated, however, that it considers home schools to fall within the exemption. In amending § 4.25 and other provisions of the Education Code in 1989, the Legislature stated;

Nothing in this Act applies to students in attendance upon a private or parochial school, which includes home schools,

in accordance with Section 21.033, Education Code,

Act of May 28, 1989, 71st Leg., R.S., ch. 658, § 11, 1989 Tex. Gen. Laws 2165, 2168 (emphasis added).

As we have noted above, plaintiffs argue that the TEA has no authority to promulgate rules construing § 21.033(a)(l).

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Top Websites on Homeschooling Legality in Texas

 

 

 

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