Q: A 16 year old minor attempting to enroll in the District. He just moved into the District and is not living with his parents. Instead, he is currently residing with his girlfriend and her parents. Is the 16 year old minor eligible for enrollment?
A: Most likely, YES! Texas Education Code section 25.001(b)(4) allows a student under 18 years of age to “establish a residence for the purpose of attending the public schools separate and apart from the [student’s] parent, guardian, or other person having lawful control of the [student] under a court order.” This would include the situation you have described above. It is important to note, however, that the student’s presence in the District may not be “for the primary purpose of participation in extracurricular activities.” Tex. Educ. Code § 25.001(d). Additionally, the District is not required to admit a student under section 25.001(b)(4) if the student:
1. has engaged in conduct or misbehavior within the preceding year that has resulted in:
A. removal to a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP); or
2. has engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct in need of supervision and is on probation or other conditional release for that conduct; or
3. has been convicted of a criminal offense and is on probation or other conditional release.
See Tex. Educ. Code § 25.001(d). Note that these exceptions apply only if a student is living in a different district than the student’s parent, guardian, or other person with lawful control of the child under a court order. The exceptions cannot be used to prevent a student eligible for admission under a different provision of §25.001 from being enrolled, including homeless students.