During the past several decades, Texas educators have worked hard to implement stay-in-school programs. Consequently, the graduation rate is on the rise. A National Center for Education Statistics report finds that Texas now has one of the highest graduation rates in the country. A graduation plan created by state lawmakers in 2013 is designed to give students the flexibility to follow their interests by creating "endorsements" or specialized areas of study. Beginning with the Class of 1987, the state has required students to pass state standardized tests, as well as their classes, in order to earn a high school diploma.
Required Notification Regarding Algebra II
The 86th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2019, passed SB 232 requiring school districts, not later than September 1 of each school year, to notify by regular mail or e-mail the parents or guardians of each student enrolled in grade nine or above that state graduation requirements do not require a student to complete an Algebra II course to graduate under the Foundation High School Program. The notification must explain that if a student does not complete an Algebra II course, a student will not be eligible for—
- automatic college admission or
- certain financial aid including:
- the TEXAS grant program under Subchapter M, Chapter 56; and
- the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program under Subchapter P, Chapter 56.
This notification requirement applies beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. The following sample language may be used when providing notification.
State Graduation Requirements
Students follow the high school graduation plan that was in place when they began ninth grade. The four graduation plans currently in use require students to earn 22 to 26 course credits.
The state's newest graduation plan, created by House Bill 5 passed during the 2013 Texas legislative session, is called the Foundation High School Program. Students entering ninth grade beginning with the 2014-2015 school year are automatically enrolled in this graduation program.
Students must pass five end-of-course assessments to meet the testing requirements for graduation. Those tests cover Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology and U.S. History.
High School Diplomas for Veterans
Some veterans who dropped out of a Texas public high school to serve in the U.S. Military are eligible to receive a high school diploma.
Automatic College Admissions
Students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class are eligible for automatic admission into Texas public universities.
The Texas Education Agency produces a variety of graduation reports. The Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools report is produced annually. Campus summaries provide a detailed look at the graduation, transfer and dropout rates on individual campuses.