Private School Regulation
Registration/Licensing/Accreditation: Through a Letter of Understanding,
the Commissioner of Education recognizes the accreditation of non-public
schools accredited by any of the accreditation organizations belonging
to the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC).
Recordkeeping/Reports: Private school administrators/designees
have an obligation to report suspected criminal conduct occurring on school
grounds or at school-sponsored activities to the local police/sheriff.
Tex. Education Code Ann. 37.015. Law enforcement agencies will notify the
school principal of an arrest or conviction of delinquent conduct of an
individual enrolled in a private school. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. § Article15.27(e).
Curriculum: Students attending a private or parochial school are
exempt from compulsory attendance at a public school if the school includes
in its course a study of good citizenship. Tex. Education Code Ann. § 25.086
A school district must ensure that records or transcripts of a transfer
student from a Texas nonpublic school are evaluated and that the student
is placed in appropriate classes promptly. Tex. Administrative Code, Title
19, Part II, § 74.26 (a)(2). A transfer student from a Texas nonpublic
school must complete all state requirements for graduation. 19 Texas Administrative
Code, § 74.11 (f).
Student credits earned in non-public schools accredited by members of
TEPSAC are transferable to Texas public schools. Letter of Understanding,
Commissioner of Education
A driver’s education school shall receive approval from the Texas
Education Agency prior to conducting a course at a private school. Tex.
Administrative Code, Title 19, Part II, § 176.4(l).
Special Education: Local school districts may contract with approved
private facilities for residential special education services. Facilities
are considered for approval based on a programmatic evaluation of personnel
qualifications, adequacy of physical plant and equipment, and curriculum
content. Facilities may be approved in whole or in part. Tex. Education
Code Ann. § 29.008.
When a private school student with disabilities is referred to the local
district, the district is not responsible for providing services unless
the parent(s) choose to enroll the child in the public school full-time
or request services under dual enrollment. All state requirements concerning
referral, assessment, and determination of eligibility are applicable to
students placed in private schools by their parents once the students are
referred. Tex. Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 2, § 89.1095.
Health: Children may not be admitted to any elementary or secondary
school unless they have been immunized as required by the Texas Board of
Health, present an affidavit signed by a physician stating the immunization
would be injurious to the health of the student or his family, or present
an affidavit that the immunization conflicts with the tenets of his/her
church or religious denomination. A religious exemption does not apply
in times of emergency or epidemic. Tex. Education Code § 38.001.
The chief administrator of a private school must report the names of children
suspected of having a communicable disease, i.e. diseases listed
by the Texas Board of Health, to the local health authority or the Department
of Health regional director. Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. §§ 81.003(10);
Safety: Municipalities with populations greater than 850,000 must
provide school crossing guards to assist children going to or leaving a
parochial or private elementary or secondary school. Chapter 343.014cal
Private schools are entitled to access all criminal history record information
that relates to employees, applicants for employment, and volunteers. The
school may obtain this information from any law enforcement or criminal
justice agency. Private schools must notify the State Board of Educator
Certification if an applicant for or holder of a certificate has a reported
criminal history. Tex. Education Code Ann. §§ 22.081; 22.083-22.086.
Private schools are entitled to obtain criminal history records through
the Department of Public Safety for employees, applicants, or volunteers,
including those who drive or will serve as a monitor or aide on a bus in
which students are transported. Tex. Government Code 411.097.
Private schools may participate in a missing child prevention and identification
program in accordance with state provisions. Under the program, schools
distribute program information to the parents and request written consent
to take the child's fingerprints. Schools may charge a reasonable fee to
cover the costs not to exceed $3. Tex. Education Code Ann. § 33.051 et
Private primary schools are required to request records when enrolling
a child under 11 years of age to verify the child’s name, birth date,
and previous school records. If documentation is not provided, the school
shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency to determine if the
child has been reported missing. Law enforcement agencies shall immediately
notify each school, including private primary schools, when a report of
a missing child is received. Tex. Code of Criminal Procedure Ann. Chapter
It is a criminal offense to possess or consume alcoholic beverages on
a public street, alley, or sidewalk within 600 feet of a facility that
the person knows is a private school offering K-12 instruction. Tex. Alco.
Bev. Code Ann. § 101.75.
Acts of hazing that occur on or off the campus of an educational institution,
including a private high school, must be reported to the appropriate official
of the institution. Tex. Education Code Ann. § 37.151 et.seq.
Transportation: Street railways or motor buses operating in cities
of not less than twenty thousand inhabitants are required to sell tickets
to children attending private schools for one-half of the adult fare when
school is in session. Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. art. 4008b; Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat.
Home Schooling: Texas has no laws or regulations related to home
Public Aid for Private Schools/Private School Students: The Texas
Constitution prohibits the state legislature from granting any part of
the permanent or available school fund to any sectarian school. Texas Const.
Art. VII, sec. 5(a).
No money from the State Treasury or property belonging to the State may
be appropriated for the benefit of any sect or religious society. Texas
Const. Art. 1, § 7. The Attorney General has ruled that this provision
does not prevent a school district from providing band lessons to private
school students at a public school. Op. Atty. Gen. 1972, No. M-1074. Texas
Constitution Art. 1, sec 7, Art. 3, sections 51, 52.
Teacher service in accredited private schools may be claimed for salary
increment purposes. Beginning with the 1989-90 school year and thereafter,
private schools accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission
will be listed in the Texas School Directory. Tex. Administrative Code,
Title 19, Part II, § 153.1021 (h)(8).
Private school students must be screened to detect vision and hearing
disorders and any other special senses or communication disorders specified
by the Board of Health. The Department of Health may coordinate screening
activities of private schools with school districts, state agencies and
volunteer organizations so that efforts are complementary and not fragmented
or duplicative, and provide screening personnel, equipment, and services
if the requirements cannot be otherwise met. Tex. Health and Safety Code
Ann. § 36.004.
Screening to detect abnormal spinal curvature is mandatory for private
school children in grades 6 and 9. The Department of Health may coordinate
screening activities and provide technical assistance and educational materials
to assist private schools. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 37.001.
The State Board of Education may enter into an agreement with a private
nonprofit school to provide special textbooks and instructional aids for
the instruction of blind or visually impaired students, if state funds,
other than for administrative costs, are not involved. Tex. Education Code
Ann. § 31.028 (c).
Food products served by private schools, student organizations, and parent-teacher
organizations are exempt from sales tax when served during the regular
school day or during a fund-raiser when the proceeds do not benefit an
individual. Tex. Tax Code Ann. 151.314(d)(1).
Miscellaneous: Parochial and private schools are expected to observe
Texas Week, the week of March 2. Tex. Civ. Stat. Art. 6144a.
A private school may administer the state assessment instrument required
for all public schools. The private school must reimburse the agency for
the cost of administering the assessment, not to exceed the cost for administering
the same assessment to a student enrolled in a public school. Tex. Education
Code Ann. § 39.033.
A private school administering the state assessment instrument shall provide
to the commissioner performance results on the academic excellence indicators
adopted by the State Board of Education. Tex. Administrative Code, Title
19, Part II, § 101.1 (j). The private school shall notify the student
and his or her parents or guardian of test results. Tex. Administrative
Code, Title 19, Part II, § 101.5.