What Is The 90% Rule In Texas Schools?

In the world of Texas education, there exists a powerful policy known as the 90% Rule. This principle, entrenched within the educational framework, holds immense influence over the lives of high school students across the state. The 90% Rule, once fully comprehended, has the capacity to steer academic and professional trajectories, dictating the future prospects of thousands of students. This article aims to unravel the complexities and implications of the 90% Rule in Texas schools, shedding light on its origins, mechanics, and potential consequences for the educational landscape.

What Is The 90% Rule In Texas Schools?

What is the 90% Rule in Texas Schools?

Definition of the 90% Rule


The 90% Rule in Texas schools is a policy that requires students to attend at least 90% of their scheduled instructional days in order to receive course credit. This policy applies to all public schools in Texas and has been implemented in an effort to improve student attendance and academic outcomes.


The primary purpose of the 90% Rule is to ensure that students are present in the classroom and actively engaged in their education. By setting a minimum attendance requirement, the rule aims to reduce absenteeism and promote regular school attendance as a critical factor for academic success.


The 90% Rule is implemented at the school level through various monitoring systems and reporting mechanisms. Schools are responsible for tracking and documenting student attendance, and they must ensure that students meet the required attendance threshold in order to receive credit for their courses. This policy is typically enforced throughout the school year and applies to all grade levels.

Effect of the 90% Rule on Students


The 90% Rule has a significant impact on student attendance rates. Since the implementation of this policy, schools have observed a decrease in absenteeism and an increase in overall student attendance. By establishing a minimum attendance requirement, students are motivated and encouraged to attend school regularly, leading to improved educational outcomes.

Academic Performance

Regular attendance has been strongly linked to improved academic performance. The 90% Rule reinforces the importance of attending classes and actively participating in learning activities. By attending school consistently, students have the opportunity to fully engage in the curriculum, interact with their peers, and receive direct instruction from teachers. Consequently, students who meet the 90% attendance requirement tend to demonstrate better academic performance and achieve higher grades.

Graduation Rates

One of the ultimate goals of the 90% Rule is to improve graduation rates in Texas schools. Consistent attendance directly correlates with the likelihood of successful completion of high school. By instilling a culture of attendance and reinforcing the value of education, the 90% Rule plays a crucial role in increasing graduation rates and equipping students with the necessary skills for future success.

Impact on Schools and Educators


The implementation of the 90% Rule holds schools accountable for monitoring and enforcing attendance policies. Schools are expected to develop effective attendance tracking systems, identify students at risk of falling below the 90% threshold, and implement interventions to address attendance issues. This policy promotes school-wide accountability and ensures that schools actively pursue strategies to maximize student attendance.


Attendance rates directly impact school funding. In Texas, school funding is largely determined by average daily attendance (ADA). The 90% Rule incentivizes schools to prioritize attendance and actively work towards improving attendance rates. By increasing average daily attendance, schools have the potential to secure additional funding, which can be utilized to enhance educational resources, support professional development for teachers, and implement targeted interventions to address student needs.

Teacher Evaluation

The 90% Rule also affects teacher evaluation and performance assessments. Since student attendance plays a crucial role in academic outcomes, teachers are evaluated based on their ability to engage students and maintain high attendance rates in their classrooms. This policy underscores the importance of teacher-student relationships, instructional quality, and classroom management skills in promoting regular attendance and supporting student success.

What Is The 90% Rule In Texas Schools?

Controversies Surrounding the 90% Rule

Critics’ Perspectives

Critics argue that the 90% Rule may disproportionately affect certain student groups. Students facing health issues, familial responsibilities, or financial hardships may struggle to achieve consistent attendance, regardless of their commitment to their education. Critics also argue that the policy places additional burden on schools to enforce attendance policies, which could divert resources away from other educational needs.


Some education experts propose alternative approaches to address absenteeism without relying solely on a fixed attendance percentage. These alternatives include implementing restorative justice practices, providing additional support services for students and families, and fostering a positive school climate to encourage attendance. Alternative approaches recognize that attendance is influenced by a variety of socio-economic and personal factors, and aim to create comprehensive solutions to improve student attendance.

Potential Flaws

While the 90% Rule has shown promising results in improving attendance and academic outcomes, there are potential flaws in the policy. Some argue that focusing solely on attendance may overlook underlying issues affecting student engagement and motivation. Additionally, the policy does not account for extenuating circumstances that may lead to absences beyond a student’s control. Balancing accountability with flexibility and considering individual student circumstances is crucial for the success of the 90% Rule.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Schools Implementing the 90% Rule

Several schools across Texas have successfully implemented the 90% Rule and have seen positive results. These schools have emphasized the importance of creating a school-wide attendance culture, involving parents and guardians in the attendance tracking process, and implementing targeted interventions to address attendance issues. Schools have reported increased attendance rates, improved academic outcomes, and a greater sense of community and engagement among students and staff.

Positive Outcomes

The implementation of the 90% Rule has resulted in numerous positive outcomes. Schools have reported increased graduation rates, reduced dropout rates, and improved student performance on state assessments. Furthermore, the policy has fostered a sense of responsibility and commitment among students, encouraging them to prioritize their education and take ownership of their learning. By reinforcing the importance of attendance, the 90% Rule has contributed to creating a culture of success in Texas schools.

Legislation and Lawsuits

State Laws and Regulations

The 90% Rule is governed by state laws and regulations. These laws outline the specific attendance requirements, reporting procedures, and potential consequences for students who do not meet the minimum attendance threshold. Schools must comply with these laws and regulations to maintain accountability and secure funding.

Challenges and Court Cases

While the 90% Rule has generally been upheld through court decisions, there have been legal challenges surrounding its implementation. Some lawsuits have argued that the policy unfairly penalizes students and may disproportionately impact certain student populations. These challenges highlight the need for ongoing scrutiny and evaluation of the 90% Rule to ensure fairness and equity in its application.

Managing and Overcoming Challenges

Strategies for Improving Attendance

To effectively manage and overcome attendance challenges, schools can employ various strategies. These include implementing targeted interventions such as mentoring programs, providing transportation assistance for students facing transportation barriers, utilizing technology for tracking and communication purposes, and offering incentives for improved attendance. By employing these strategies, schools can proactively address attendance issues and promote regular attendance among students.

Supporting At-Risk Students

Recognizing that certain students may face more significant barriers to attendance, schools can implement support systems to address the needs of at-risk students. This may include providing counseling services, offering flexible scheduling options, collaborating with community organizations to address social and emotional needs, and providing additional academic support for students who may have fallen behind academically due to attendance-related issues. By adopting a holistic approach, schools can ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed academically.

Looking Beyond the 90% Rule

Comprehensive Education Policies

While the 90% Rule has been effective in promoting attendance and improving academic outcomes, it is essential to recognize that attendance is just one facet of student success. To provide a well-rounded education and address the diverse needs of students, policymakers and educators should focus on implementing comprehensive education policies. This includes fostering a positive school climate, enhancing curriculum and instruction, prioritizing mental health and social-emotional support, and encouraging active involvement of families and communities in students’ education.

Other Factors Affecting Student Success

Student success is influenced by numerous factors beyond attendance. Factors such as access to quality education, equitable resources, supportive learning environments, and individualized support for students with diverse needs all play a significant role in shaping student outcomes. By considering these factors alongside the 90% Rule, education stakeholders can create a more comprehensive and equitable approach to promoting student success.


The 90% Rule in Texas schools serves as a crucial policy to ensure regular attendance and support student achievement. By emphasizing the importance of attendance, this policy has contributed to improved academic outcomes, increased graduation rates, and the development of a positive school culture. While challenges and controversies surround the 90% Rule, continued evaluation, flexibility, and targeted support systems can address these concerns and ensure equitable implementation. By looking beyond attendance and embracing comprehensive education policies, Texas schools can foster an environment where all students have the opportunity to thrive and succeed.