Texas homeschools are classified as a type of private school and must meet a few requirements.

History

In the southern United States, Texas legalized homeschooling in 1987 and has few regulations for homeschooling children. In the case of Leeper et al. v. Arlington ISD et al., the Texas Supreme Court upheld the decision that children taught at home are exempt from the compulsory attendance requirement, as are students enrolled in private schools.

Regulation

Parents who homeschool their students, ages 6 to 19, must provide citizenship instruction. The local district may ask parents to provide some assurance that they are homeschooling their child; otherwise, registering or reporting their homeschool participation is not required. Similarly, it appears that homeschooled students are exempt from the compulsory attendance laws. There are some requirements for what and how homeschooled students should be taught. See the Leeper decision or local resources for details.

Texas does not have a formal policy about student access to public school classes or activities. Homeschooled students have part-time access to sports activities provided at public schools. Access is otherwise restricted, meaning homeschooled students can access extracurriculars (like sports) but no other educational offerings. Further, no explicit statute governs access to public school offerings for anyone outside the public school system. Additionally, it appears that homeschools are considered private schools regarding decisions on providing services for children with special needs. See here for more detailed information.

State Data

Texas does not require parents to report homeschool participation. As such, the state cannot report homeschool participation. However, we do have some information on homeschool participation. The U.S. Census estimates indicate that around 4.5% of Texas families homeschooled in the spring of 2020 and increased to 12% by the fall of 2020. Based on U.S. Census estimates for the 2022 and 2023 school years, an average of 4.3% of K-12 students in Texas were homeschooled during this time.

Download Homeschool Hub State Data

Cross-Sector Comparison

We cannot calculate a cross-sector comparison because we lack information on homeschool participation.

School Choice Context

In addition to homeschooling, parents in Texas have multiple school choice options. These include enrollment in traditional public, private, magnet, charter, and virtual schools. Inter-district choice is allowed for some students. Texas does not provide public funds directly for homeschools. However, in 2023, the state currently has education savings account legislation under consideration.

Commentary

Texas is a large state with little information on homeschool participation trends. In this case, the information from the Census Pulse survey provides the best estimate of homeschool participation in Texas.

Last updated December 2023.