New truancy law goes into effect Sept. 1, 2015

House Bill 2398, which was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 18, goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2015, decriminalizing truancy for all students within the state of Texas.

Among the changes worth noting in the truancy law are:

  • Compulsory attendance age raised: Previously, referrals to truancy court were forbidden after students had turned 18; now, that age has been raised to 19.
  • Exemptions: Students who are homeless, pregnant, receiving Special Education Services, the primary financial provider of their family, or have run away from home cannot be prosecuted for failure to attend school.

For more information, please see this related Academic Services memo dated July 27. A second memo, scheduled for posting on Aug. 24, 2015, will include a snapshot comparison document from the Texas Association of School Boards for reference.