Compulsory Attendance & 90% Rule

Compulsory Attendance Law

The State of Texas requires that all students at least 6 years of age and not yet 19 attend school until they obtain a diploma.  It is important that students attend school each day. There is a very strong connection between student attendance and academic performance in school.  Therefore, when students miss class, they miss out on learning.

90% Rule

In addition to the Compulsory Attendance Law, there is the the 90% law. In order to receive credit for a final grade for a class, a student is required to attend class 90 percent of the days a class is offered regardless of whether the student’s absences are excused [see FEA] or unexcused. Atty. Gen. Op. JC-0398 (2001). If the student does not meet this requirement, the student must go through the Attendance Recovery Process. 

If the student drops below 90% but attends class at least at 75% of the days the class is offered, the student may earn credit for the class by completing a plan approved by the principal. 

Submission of the attendance appeal must occur within 30 school days of the end of the semester in which the credit was denied. The campus attendance committee then meets and renders a decision based on the circumstances as presented by the student and parent within 30 school days of the end of the semester in which the credit was denied. See Austin ISD Board Policies FEC (LEGAL) and FEC (LOCAL). 

Credit Loss Defined

When students do not meet the 90% attendance rate in a class, it is reflected on their report cards as course credit denial. See flow chart for specific steps.


We do recognize, however, that perfect attendance is not always possible. Ill children should be kept at home to allow recovery and to keep other students from contracting the illness if contagious. 

If your child is absent from all or part of a school day, the student—upon arrival or return to school—must bring a note signed by the guardian or health care professional that describes the reason for the absence.  All notes should be provided within two days of returning to school.  The campus will update attendance records based on the provided documentation. 

If you have any questions about your child’s attendance record, please ask your child’s school.