Age Range for Public School/Special Education Eligibility

What's Required

§89.1035. Age Ranges for Student Eligibility.

(a)  Pursuant to state and federal law, services provided in accordance with this subchapter must be available to all eligible students ages 3-21. Services will be made available to eligible students on their third birthday. Graduation with a regular high school diploma pursuant to §89.1070(b)(1), (b)(2)(D), (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), or (g)(4)(D) of this title (relating to Graduation Requirements) terminates a student's eligibility to receive services in accordance with this subchapter. An eligible student receiving special education services who is 21 years of age on September 1 of a school year will be eligible for services through the end of that school year or until graduation with a regular high school diploma pursuant to §89.1070(b)(1), (b)(2)(D), (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), or (g)(4)(D) of this title, whichever comes first.

(b)  In accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§29.003, 30.002(a), and 30.081, a free appropriate public education must be available from birth to students with visual or auditory impairments.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this §89.1035 issued under the Texas Education Code, §§29.001, 29.003, 29.017, 30.002, 30.081, and 42.003, and 34 Code of Federal Regulations, §300.101 and §300.124.

Source: The provisions of this §89.1035 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 7240; amended to be effective March 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 1837; amended to be effective December 2, 2015, 40 TexReg 8642.


Students at Least Age 21 but under Age 26

Section 25.001(b-1) grants districts discretionary authority to admit students who are at least 21 years of age and under 26 years of age on September 1 of the school year and are admitted to complete the requirements for a high school diploma.

These older students are not eligible for placement in a DAEP or a JJAEP.  If a student admitted under this discretionary authority engages in conduct that would require such placement for a student under age 21, the district shall revoke the student's admission into the public schools of the district.

Under §25.001(b-2), if a student admitted under Subsection (b-1) has not attended school in the three preceding school years, the student may not be placed with a student who is 18 years of age or younger in a classroom setting, a cafeteria, or another district-sanctioned school activity.  However, the student may attend a school-sponsored event that is open to the public as a member of the public.

An older student admitted under §25.001(b-1) is entitled to Foundation School Program funding under §42.003(a)(1).  However, a student with a disability is not eligible for either federal or state special education programs or funding unless the student was under the age of 22 on September 1 of the applicable school year.  A student with a disability who no longer qualifies for special education due to the student's age and who has not graduated must meet the regular state graduation requirements regardless of whether the student previously could have graduated under an IEP with different requirements.  Generally, students with disabilities will qualify for §504,[63] but that law does not allow modification of graduation requirements or provide any additional funding.  A public school may not deny admission based on the presence of a disability, prior special education status, or §504 status.