State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Texas and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Case Law and Legal Opinions
Leeper Case Decisions
In March 1985, attorney Shelby Sharpe, on behalf of several home school families and curriculum suppliers, filed a lawsuit against all the school districts in Texas on behalf of all home educators in Texas. In what became known as the Leeper vs. Arlington class action suit (Leeper v. Arlington I.S.D. No. 17-88761-85), home educators asked the court to give a declaratory judgment on the question of whether or not the legislature had intended home schools to be private schools when they enacted the compulsory attendance statute in 1915. The basic question was, are home schools private schools? The Tarrant County District Court ruled that home schools are indeed private schools. On April 13, 1987, presiding Judge Charles J. Murray issued a decision (binding on all 1,100 school districts) which was a complete vindication of the rights of parents to educate their children at home in the State of Texas.
Gary W. Leeper, et al. vs. Arlington Independent School District, et al.
This is the text of the final judgement of the case of Leeper v. Arlington ISD. The conclusion in this case was that "a school-age child residing the 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, or 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 (1) either one of a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child 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 . . ." This case also affirmed that standardized test scores are not required in order for ther to be compliance with the law.
Leeper vs. Arlington ISD Appeals Decision
The Leeper verdict was appealed by the state, and on November 23, 1991, the Court of Appeals, Second District, upheld the lower court’s ruling completely and without changes. This is the text of the appeals court ruling in this case. The original lower court ruling was upheld, affirming that students who are legitimately being educated at home are exempt from compulsory attendance laws.
Leeper Supreme Court Decision
The state again appealed, and in June of 1994, the Texas Supreme Court, in a unanimous 9-0 decision {Texas Educ. Agency v. Leeper, 893 S.W.2d 432 (Tex. 1994)}, confirmed the lower court’s decision. This is the text of that decision.
Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
In Pierce v. Society of the Sisters, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments of this Union repose excludes any general power of the state to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the creature of the state."
Summaries and Explanations of Texas Homeschooling Laws
Texas Home School Laws
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Texas. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Texas.
Texas Homeschooling Curriculum Requirements
Some Texas homeschoolers are being given false information by some school districts. This is the Texas Home School Coalition's response from August 15, 1997.
I've Decided to Homeschool--Now What?
You've made the decision to homeschool, so what's next? This article includes some friendly, non-legal advice concerning what to do and what not to do when beginning to homeschool in Texas.
7 Easy Steps to Begin
Questions and answers concerning the legal requirements for homeschooling in Texas provided by the Texas Home School Coalition Association.
Texas Education Agency Home School Informationq
Includes a home school information cover letter, the Commissioner's April 20, 2004, Home School Policy Letter, and the text of the Texas Education Code governing operation of schools and School Attendance.
Texas Homeschooling Laws
A short and enthusiastic explanation of the laws pertaining to home education in Texas.
Home Schools: An Opinion from TEA
Jim Nelson, Commissioner of Education, provides some general information with respect to the Texas Education Agency's position on home schooled students.
Texas Statutes
Texas Education Code 25.086. Exemptions.
(a) A child is exempt from the requirements of compulsory school attendance if the child: (1) attends a private or parochial school that includes in its course a study of good citizenship; ... (5) is at least 17 years of age and: (A) is attending a course of instruction to prepare for the high school equivalency examination, ... or (B) has received a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate...
Texas Education Code 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 prekindergarten or kindergarten, a child shall attend school. (d) Unless specifically exempted by Section 25.086...
Home School Laws from HSLDA
Find the laws pertaining to home education for all 50 states and U.S. territories.
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