Compulsory Attendance & 90% Rule

Compulsory Attendance Law

State law (Texas Education Code Section 25.085) requires that all students at least 6 years of age and not yet 19 attend school each day. Compulsory attendance also applies to students who are younger than six who have been voluntarily enrolled in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten. FEA: Compulsory Attendance policy 

State law provides that if a student is absent from school without parental consent for any portion of the school day for three days in a four-week period or for ten or more days in a six-month period, the student and/or the student’s parent or legal guardian are subject to civil prosecution by the truancy court. In the event the student fails to obey the order issued by the civil courts, the student may also be referred to a juvenile court, which will determine whether the students should be adjudicated delinquent and referred for supervision by the juvenile probation authorities. 

Per the compulsory attendance law verbiage, “parts of days”, this means that leaving school early or arriving after school begins (tardy), even if the child attended some of the day, may count against the student. Acceptable reasons for an excused tardy are the same as an excused absence.

90% Rule

In order to receive credit or a final grade for a class, a student is required to attend class 90 percent of the days class is offered regardless of whether the student's absences are excused [see FEA] or unexcused. As a District of Innovation, Austin ISD does have a benefit of exemption to the 90% Rule: The District has the ability to exercise local discretion in awarding credit to students who successfully complete course objectives.

High expectations for attendance will continue to be maintained and dropout prevention measures should be in place for all campuses. Campuses should continue to have a comprehensive attendance plan to account for truancy, appeals for credit, and chronic absenteeism. See Austin ISD Board Policies FEC (LEGAL) and FEC (LOCAL). 

There will be no remote learning options for attendance funding, per the State of Texas.


What does the research say?

Across the country, more than 8 million students are missing so many days of school that they are academically at risk. Chronic absence — missing 10 percent or more of school days due to absence for any reason—excused, unexcused absences and suspensions, can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing subjects and ninth-graders dropping out of high school.
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Parents and guardians play a very important role regarding their children’s attendance.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Have your student arrive to school on time and attend every class period, especially the OAT—official attendance-taking period (10:30 AM middle schools and high schools; and, homeroom for elementary).
  • A student who is tardy to class will be subject to the consequences established at each campus in accordance with the possible consequences in the AISD Student Code of Conduct.
  • What happens if your student needs to see a doctor/dentist/therapist? If possible, we encourage you to schedule appointments outside of school hours. Obtain and submit a medical note for documentation to provide to your student’s campus Attendance Specialist. Documentation is needed so the absence will be coded correctly.
  • When you receive an absence notification, please follow up with your student and the campus attendance specialist. If you have documentation for your student’s absence, please submit as early as possible (it is recommended to submit within 48 hours). If you believe a teacher has marked a student incorrectly, please have your student reach out to the teacher of the marked period.

Visit our FAQ page for additional Attendance Information.