Texas Education Code
Sec. § 132.002


The following schools or educational institutions may be exempted from this chapter by the commission under Subsection (d):


a school or educational institution supported by taxation from either a local or state source;


a nonprofit school owned, controlled, operated, and conducted by a bona fide religious, denominational, eleemosynary, or similar public institution exempt from property taxation under the laws of this state;


a school or training program that offers instruction of purely avocational or recreational subjects as determined by the commission;


a course or courses of instruction or study sponsored by an employer for the training and preparation of its own employees, and for which no tuition fee is charged to the student;


a course or courses of study or instruction sponsored by a recognized trade, business, or professional organization for the instruction of the members of the organization with a closed membership;


a private college or university that awards a recognized baccalaureate, or higher degree, and that maintains and operates educational programs for which a majority of the credits given are transferable to a college, junior college, or university supported entirely or partly by taxation from either a local or state source;


a school or course that is otherwise regulated and approved under and pursuant to any other law or rulemaking process of this state or approved for continuing education credit by an organization that accredits courses for the maintenance of a license, except as provided by Subsection (c);


an aviation school or instructor approved by and under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration;


a school that offers intensive review of a student’s acquired education, training, or experience to prepare the student for an examination, other than a high school equivalency examination, that the student by law may not take unless the student has completed or substantially completed a particular degree program, or that the student is required to take as a precondition for enrollment in or admission to a particular degree program;


a private school offering primary or secondary education, which may include a kindergarten or prekindergarten program, and that satisfies the compulsory attendance requirements of Section 25.085 (Compulsory School Attendance) pursuant to Section 25.086 (Exemptions)(a)(1);


a course or courses of instruction by bona fide electrical trade associations for the purpose of preparing students for electrical tests required for licensing and for the purpose of providing continuing education to students for the renewal of electrical licenses;


a nonprofit arts organization that has as its primary purpose the provision of instruction in the dramatic arts and the communications media to persons younger than 19 years of age;


a course or training program conducted by a nonprofit association of air conditioning and refrigeration contractors approved by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board to provide instruction for technical, business, or license examination preparation programs relating to air conditioning and refrigeration contracting, as that term is defined by Chapter 1302 (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors), Occupations Code;


a course of instruction by a plumbing trade association to prepare students for a plumbing test or program required for licensing, certification, or endorsement or to provide continuing education approved by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners; and


a course of instruction in the use of technological hardware or software if the course is offered to a purchaser of the hardware or software or to the purchaser’s employee by a person who manufactures and sells, or develops and sells, the hardware or software, and if the seller is not primarily in the business of providing courses of instruction in the use of the hardware or software, as determined by the commission.


Schools offering a course or courses of special study or instruction financed or subsidized by local, state, or federal funds or by any person, firm, association, or agency other than the student involved, on a contract basis and having a closed enrollment, may apply to the commission for exemption of such course or courses from this chapter and such course or courses may be declared exempt by the commission where the commission finds the course or courses to be outside the purview of this chapter.


If a state agency that issues a license or other authorization for the practice of an occupation elects not to regulate or approve course hours that exceed the minimum education requirements for the issuance of the license or other authorization, the licensing agency shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the commission for the regulation of those excess course hours under this chapter. Any course taught under a letter of approval or other written authorization issued by the licensing agency before the effective date of the memorandum is authorized under state law until the course is reviewed by the commission. The licensing agency may terminate the memorandum of understanding on notice to the commission.


Except as provided by Subsection (g), a school or educational institution is exempt from regulation under this chapter only if:


the owner of the school or educational institution:


applies to the commission for an exemption under this section; and


provides to the commission any information considered necessary by the commission to support the owner’s application for an exemption; and


the commission declares that the school or educational institution is exempt after finding that the school or institution is a school or institution listed in Subsection (a).


A school or educational institution exempted from this chapter is authorized to offer training in this state allowed by the exemption.


After a school or educational institution is declared exempt by the commission under this section, the commission may inspect the school or institution or require the owner of the school or institution to provide any information the commission considers necessary for the commission to ensure the school or institution’s continued compliance with the requirements of the exemption.


A school or educational institution listed in Subsection (a) may seek a certificate of approval under Subchapter C.


An institution of higher education or a private or independent institution of higher education, as defined by Section 61.003 (Definitions), that was exempt from regulation under this chapter before September 1, 2003, remains exempt from regulation under this chapter and is not required to comply with this section.


A school or educational institution that participates or intends to participate in student financial aid programs under Title IV, Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Section 1070 et seq.), may not be exempted from this chapter by the commission on the basis of Subsection (a)(2) unless the school or institution demonstrates to the commission that:




the school or institution is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the United States secretary of education; or


the school or institution, or the primary campus of the school or institution, has been operating continuously in this state for at least 20 years in compliance with state career school regulatory requirements, regardless of the amount of time the current owner has owned the school or institution; or


the school or institution:


is owned, controlled, operated, and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation; and


awards only degrees or certificates relating to religion, including a certificate of Talmudic studies, an associate of biblical studies degree, a master of divinity degree, or a doctor of divinity degree.


For purposes of Subsection (h)(1)(B), “primary campus” means, for two or more schools or educational institutions that are owned and operated by the same owner, the school or educational institution designated by the owner as the main or principal campus.


A school or educational institution may demonstrate compliance with Subsection (h):


through the application process under Subsection (d); or


if the school or institution has previously been granted an exemption from this chapter and the most recent exemption was granted before June 30, 2013, by an affidavit submitted to the commission by the owner of the school or institution.


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall take appropriate action, including by making appropriate referrals to an accrediting agency or to the attorney general, to address any complaint received by the coordinating board from a student or prospective student of a school or institution to which Subsection (h) applies that is:


exempted from this chapter on the basis of Subsection (a)(2); and


subject to regulation by the coordinating board.
Added by Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 2007, ch. 620, Sec. 1, eff. June 4, 1971. Amended by Acts 1972, 62nd Leg., 4th C.S., p. 15, ch. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Oct. 17, 1972; Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 1264, ch. 463, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 1973; Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1075, ch. 392, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 813, Sec. 4.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 1010, Sec. 9, 10, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Redesignated from Education Code Sec. 32.12 and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 2, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 655, Sec. 11.34, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1075, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 364, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 817, Sec. 8.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 14A.770, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Amended by:
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 974 (H.B. 2000), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.
Last accessed
Apr. 10, 2021