High School Equivalency Program - Texas Education Code
Sec. 29.087. HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY PROGRAMS
(a) The agency shall develop a process by which a school district or open-enrollment charter school may apply to the commissioner for authority to operate a program to prepare eligible students to take a high school equivalency examination.
(b) Any school district or open-enrollment charter school may apply for authorization to operate a program under this section. As part of the application process, the commissioner shall require a district or school to provide information regarding the operation of any similar program during the preceding five years.
(b-1) A school district or open-enrollment charter school authorized by the commissioner on or before Aug. 31, 2003, to operate a program under this section may continue to operate that program in accordance with this section.
(c) A school district or open-enrollment charter school may not increase enrollment of students in a program authorized by this section by more than five percent of the number of students enrolled in the similar program operated by the district or school during the 2000-2001 school year.
(d) A student is eligible to participate in a program authorized by this section if:
(1) the student has been ordered by a court under Article 45.054 , Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by Chapter 1514, Acts of the 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001, or by the Texas Youth Commission to:
(A) participate in a preparatory class for the high school equivalency examination; or
(B) take the high school equivalency examination administered under Section 7.111 ; or
(2) the following conditions are satisfied:
(A) the student is at least 16 years of age at the beginning of the school year or semester;
(B) the student is a student at risk of dropping out of school, as defined by Section 29.081 ;
(C) the student and the student’s parent or guardian agree in writing to the student’s participation;
(D) at least two school years have elapsed since the student first enrolled in ninth grade and the student has accumulated less than one third of the credits required to graduate under the minimum graduation requirements of the district or school; and
(E) any other conditions specified by the commissioner.
(e) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall inform each student who has completed a program authorized by this section of the time and place at which the student may take the high school equivalency examination. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, a student may not take the high school equivalency examination except as authorized by Section 7.111.
(f) A student participating in a program authorized by this section, other than a student ordered to participate under Subsection (d)(1), must have taken the appropriate end-of-course assessment instruments specified by Section 39.023(c) before entering the program and must take each appropriate end-of-course assessment instrument administered during the period in which the student is enrolled in the program.A Except for a student ordered to participate under Subsection (d)(1), a student participating in the program may not take the high school equivalency examination unless the student has taken the assessment instruments required by this subsection.
(g) A student enrolled in a program authorized by this section may not participate in a competition or other activity sanctioned or conducted by the University Interscholastic League.
(h) A student who has received a high school equivalency certificate is entitled to enroll in a public school as authorized by Section 25.001 and is entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program under Section 42.003 in the same manner as any other student who has not received a high school diploma.
(i) The agency shall request permission from the General Educational Development Testing Service to administer the service’s high school equivalency examination to students enrolled in high school who participate in a program authorized by this section. From funds appropriated to the agency that may be used for the purpose, the agency may pay a fee imposed by the service for granting permission to the agency necessary to allow operation of programs authorized by this section.
(j) For purposes of funding under Chapters 41, 42, and 46, a student attending a program authorized by this section may be counted in attendance only for the actual number of hours each school day the student attends the program, in accordance with Sections 25.081 and 25.082.
(k) The board of trustees of a school district or the governing board of an open-enrollment charter school shall:
(1) hold a public hearing concerning the proposed application of the district or school before applying to operate a program authorized by this section; and
(2) subsequently hold a public hearing annually to review the performance of the program.
(l) The commissioner may revoke a school district’s or open-enrollment charter school ’s authorization under this section after consideration of relevant factors, including performance of students participating in the district’s or school ’s program on assessment instruments required under Chapter 39, the percentage of students participating in the district ’s or school ’s program who complete the program and perform successfully on the high school equivalency examination, and other criteria adopted by the commissioner. A decision by the commissioner under this subsection is final and may not be appealed.
(m) Not later than December 1, 2002, the commissioner shall report to the legislature regarding the implementation of this section and make appropriate recommendations regarding the continuation of the commissioner’s authority to approve programs under this section. The report must include:
(1) the number of students enrolled in programs authorized by this section, disaggregated by ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic status;
(2) the number of students enrolled in programs authorized by this section who performed satisfactorily on the high school equivalency examination, disaggregated by ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic status; and
(3) to the extent practicable, information regarding the attendance of students enrolled in programs authorized by this section at institutions of higher education or trade schools or at other postsecondary educational programs.
(n) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this section.
(o) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 373, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 2003.
Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1514, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 283, Sec. 41, eff. Sept. 1,2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 373, Sec. 1, 2, eff. June 18, 2003.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1312, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.
Texas Education Code Sec. 29.087 on the web
Ronald Heinrich, Manager
Texas Education Agency
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
Page last modified on 10/31/2012.