State Policy

Graduating From High School In Texas: Students’ Rights & Information About the Law

If you are a student, click here If you are a school counselor, click here

If any one of these situations applies to you:

  • You are staying in a home that is not yours or your parent’s (or legal guardian’s) because you had to leave your home
  • You are in an unstable living situation, without a safe or steady home
  • You are sleeping in a motel, car, tent, abandoned building, or public place
  • You are staying in a shelter or transitional living program OR
  • You are in foster care

You have rights in high school!

  • Get partial credits for any part of a course you took, even if you didn’t finish the course– from a past school or from your current school
  • Take credit recovery classes (if you want to)
  • Have a whole school team help you adjust if you have to change schools— counselors, teachers, and others to help check your credits, get you on track to graduate, and provide any help you need
  • Play sports and join other clubs, even if you don’t meet the UIL residence rules and even if you don’t have transportation.

ALSO: If you changed schools in 11th or 12th grade and your new school says you can’t graduate, you may be able to get a diploma from your old school.

Ask your counselor about partial credits and graduation options today!

Below has all the details and the law, and will help your counselor understand your rights.

If your counselor can’t help you, try your district “homeless education liaison.” If that person can’t help, contact the state “homeless education coordinator,” or email us!

School Counselors And Administrators In Texas Have Powerful Legal Tools To Help Highly Mobile Students Graduate.

1. Partial Credits

For students experiencing homelessness or foster care, school districts and charter schools must:

2. Diplomas

If an 11th or 12th grade student experiencing homelessness or foster care changes school districts and is ineligible to graduate from the new district, the prior district must award a diploma if the student meets the graduation requirements of that district.

This applies to students who change school districts within Texas, as well as those who move out of state. When 11th or 12th grade students experiencing homelessness or foster care change move out of state and are ineligible to graduate from high school in the new state, the district they attended in Texas must award a diploma if the student meets the graduation requirements of that district.

3. Easing Transitions

Within 2 weeks of enrollment of a student experiencing homelessness or foster care at a new school, the school must:

4. Ensuring Full Participation

For students experiencing homelessness or foster care, districts and charter schools must:

5. Transferring School Records

Districts and charter schools must transfer records for students experiencing homelessness or foster care within 10 days of request, even if the student has not returned or paid for instructional materials or technological equipment.