New TEA Withdrawal Policy
to Combat Attendance Fraud
Parents who withdraw their children from public school should inform the school of their intentions.
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Education Agency has now implemented its new policy to combat public school attendance fraud by requiring public schools to more fully document whether a withdrawing student intends to homeschool.
Last year, HSLDA alerted Texas homeschoolers that the TEA conducted an audit of public schools and found that some schools in Texas had been classifying dropouts as homeschoolers in order to keep drop-out numbers low. To combat this problem, the TEA is now requiring that when a student is withdrawing from public school, the school must have a signed statement from the parent saying that the student intends to study at home before it can classify them as “withdrawing to homeschool.”
Texas law does not require parents who choose to teach their children at home to file any sort of notice of intent. Thus, the TEA cannot mandate parents to file any such form. However, HSLDA always recommends that parents who withdraw their children from public school inform the school of their intention, lest the sudden absence of the child create grounds for concern. Members can find a sample withdrawal letter on the members-only section of our website. This letter should serve as the parent’s signed statement required by the TEA’s new policy.
Should you encounter any school district that tries to force homeschooling parents to sign any statements regarding the enrollment of their children, please contact HSLDA immediately for assistance.
Darren Jones, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney