Cynthia Benavidez
Attendance Clerk

Students in Texas receive 180 days of instruction in a typical school year. Truancy law in the state requires that students be present for over half of these days. The Texas Education Code outlines truancy laws in the state and includes guidelines that both school districts and parents must follow concerning school attendance for minors.

If a child has missed 10 days or any segment of a day for 10 days within a six-month period, it is a violation of Texas truancy law. In addition, if a child has missed three days or more or any segment of a day within a four-week period it is also a violation

Texas are usually notified of their child’s excessive absences by the school. However, it is the parent’s responsibility to track his child’s attendance. Not being notified of the absences by the school is not an excuse in truancy court. Consequences are still enforced even if the parent did not receive notification.

In most cases, once parents receive a warning and there is no improvement in attendance, a complaint is filed in a Texas truancy court. Failing to ensure that a child attends school is criminal negligence in Texas, which is a class C misdemeanor. Parents can receive a fine of up to $500.