Texas Education Code
Sec. § 54.351
Children of Disabled Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers


In this section:


"Eligible firefighter or law enforcement officer" means:


a full-paid or volunteer firefighter;


a full-paid or volunteer municipal, county, or state peace officer, including a game warden; or


a custodial officer of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.


"Disability" means inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or to be of long-continued and indefinite duration. A person is not considered to be under a disability unless the person provides any proof of the existence of the disability as may be required.


The governing board of each institution of higher education shall exempt from the payment of all dues, fees, and charges any person whose parent is an eligible firefighter or law enforcement officer who has suffered an injury, resulting in death or disability, sustained in the line of duty according to the regulations and criteria then in effect governing the department or agency in which the eligible firefighter or law enforcement officer volunteered or was employed. The exemption does not apply to general deposits or to fees or charges for lodging, board, or clothing.


A person is not entitled to the exemption if the person:


does not apply initially for the exemption before the date the person:


becomes 21 years of age, if the person is not covered by Paragraph (B); or


becomes 22 years of age, if the person is eligible to participate in a school districts special education program under Section 29.003;


does not meet all entrance requirements of the institution; or


does not maintain a scholastic average sufficient to remain in good standing.


Subject to Subsection (e), a person may receive an exemption only for the first 120 undergraduate semester credit hours for which the person registers.


A person is not entitled to an exemption for any term or semester the person begins after the date the person becomes 26 years of age.


A person entitled to an exemption under the provisions of this section shall, when transferring from a public junior college to a public senior college or university, meet the standard entrance requirements required by the senior college or university of an applicant for admission not covered by the provisions of this section.


An eligible firefighter or law enforcement officer whose injury results in a disability shall submit to a physical examination by a physician designated by the United States Social Security Administration to conduct physical examinations and to make disability reports to the Social Security Administration. If the physician decides the injury received has resulted in a disability, the physician shall certify that fact to the head of the department in which the eligible firefighter or law enforcement officer volunteers or is employed.


The head of the department in which the eligible firefighter or law enforcement officer volunteered or was employed at the time the firefighter or law enforcement officer sustained the injury shall file a certificate with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on a form prepared by the board for the purpose. The head of the department shall attach the certificate of the examining physician if an examination is required by Subsection (g). A copy of the certificate on file with the coordinating board is sufficient evidence for the institution to grant the exemption.
Redesignated and amended from Education Code, Section 54.204 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 359 (S.B. 32), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012.
Last accessed
Jun. 9, 2018