The following was included in TCTA's 2019-20 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2019 but is subject to change.

School start date and last day of school

The first instructional day must be no earlier than the fourth Monday in August; districts may not receive a waiver from this requirement. (Note: More than two-thirds of Texas districts have exempted themselves from this law through the District of Innovation process.) Legislation that took effect in 2015 adds a requirement that a school district may not schedule the last day of school for students before May 15. Each district must operate so that it provides 75,600 minutes of instruction, including intermissions and recesses for students.

Length of instructional day

The instructional day must be at least 420 minutes, including intermissions and recesses. State law does not address the length of a teacher’s workday.

Required days of teacher service

The 10-month teacher contract year requires a minimum of 187 days of service. Recent TCTA-initiated legislation allows school districts anticipating providing fewer than 180 instructional days during a school year to also reduce the number of required teacher days of service proportionately without a reduction in an educator’s salary.