Appendix IV

Excused Absences for Religious Holy Days

(Revised: 2005)

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Chapter 51, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:


(a) In this section:

(1) "Institution of higher education" has the meaning assigned by Subdivision (7) of Section 61.003 of this code, but includes the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf and Texas State Technical Institute.

(2) "Religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.

(b) An institution of higher education shall excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused under this subsection may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.

(c) A student who is excused under this section may not be penalized for the absence, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination.