Texas New Truancy Law
A student becomes truant if he or she misses 10 or more days, or parts of days and those absences are unexcused. These absences must be accumulated within the current semester of school. Once the student is deemed Truant then a letter will be sent to his or her parent. Once the schools graduated sanctions have been administered then the student or the parent may be ordered to appear in court.
Students who fail to comply with court orders can be held in contempt of court, fined up to $100, and have their driver's license suspended. The law also limits court costs to $50, and it's conditioned on the family's ability to pay.
Previously, truancy court referrals ended once a student turned 18; the new law raises that age to 19-years-old.
The court will be able to order the truant student to attend counseling, training, or rehabilitation programs, perform community service, or complete a tutorial program; and suspend a student’s driver’s license or learner’s permit for truant conduct.
A student’s parents or guardians can still be charged with a criminal offense of Parent Contributing to Nonattendance (PCN) and face fines, although they will be on an escalating scale — $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second, $300 for a third topping off at $500 for a fifth or subsequent offense. Even though students may not be fined for truancy, courts may charge a $50 court fee but only to those families who are financially capable of paying.