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  By: Zaffirini S.B. No. 891
 
 
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to excused absences from public school for a student's
  mental or behavioral health.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 25.087, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-9) and amending Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (b-9)  A school district shall excuse a student from
  attending school for a maximum of five days in a school year so that
  a student may seek or receive mental or behavioral health
  treatment, support, or diagnosis with documentation from a health
  care provider. The district may:
               (1)  create a policy to allow students to be excused for
  absences related to mental or behavioral health treatment, support,
  or diagnosis without documentation from a health care professional.
  This policy may require the student to provide previous
  documentation or be seen by a school counselor or similar district
  professional, with written consent from a parent or guardian or in
  accordance with Section 32.004, Family Code.
         (d)  A student whose absence is excused under Subsection (b),
  (b-1), (b-2), (b-4), (b-5), (b-7), (b-9), or (c) may not be
  penalized for that absence and shall be counted as if the student
  attended school for purposes of calculating the average daily
  attendance of students in the school district. A student whose
  absence is excused under Subsection (b), (b-1), (b-2), (b-4),
  (b-5), (b-7), (b-9), or (c) shall be allowed a reasonable time to
  make up school work missed on those days. If the student
  satisfactorily completes the school work, the day of absence shall
  be counted as a day of compulsory attendance.
         SECTION 2.  This Act applies beginning with the 2023-2024
  school year.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2023.