TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
Texas schools can again set their own face mask rules after federal judge overrules Gov. Greg Abbott's ban
The judge said the governor's order impedes children with disabilities from the benefits of public schools’ programs, services and activities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Gov. Greg Abbott tells state agencies to develop standards to block books with "overtly sexual" content in schools
Abbott targeted two books that have been removed by schools recently that center on LGBTQ characters. One of the books includes a graphic illustration and the other includes depictions of sex.
Texas schools started year with record coronavirus cases, weekly totals on a decline
Nearly three months into this school year, the number of reported coronavirus cases among students has surpassed the total from the entire 2020-21 school year. Every Friday, the Texas Education Agency releases COVID-19 case counts for students and staff, as reported by the state’s school districts. Here is the latest situation for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 17:State data on school cases is incomplete and likely an undercount. Last year, school districts were permitted to require masks. Instead, school districts either used federal relief dollars or dug deep into their budgets to provide remote programming for families.myrgv.com
Texas schools report more COVID cases in two months than 2020-21 school year
Students in Texas public schools are facing another year upturned by COVID-19 as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, mask mandates are inconsistent and children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated against the virus.myrgv.com
Texas’ Ban On School Mask Mandates Draws Federal Investigation For Possibly Violating The Rights Of Students With Disabilities – Houston Public Media
The U.S. Department of Education announced the inquiry days after the Texas Education Agency quietly updated its guidance to say school districts can’t require masks.houstonpublicmedia.org
OPINION: Welcome change: Adding UIL adaptive sports opens opportunities to many
Amid the several controversial new laws enacted this year by the Texas legislature were some good bills that deserved, and got, bipartisan support. One especially welcome law that took effect Sept. 1, and originated in the Rio Grande Valley, expands school athletic programs to include adaptive sports for special-needs students.myrgv.com
PISD to require masks on campus, MISD to decide today – The Big Bend Sentinel
PRESIDIO COUNTY –– Late last week, the Texas Education Agency decided to temporarily stop enforcing Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order that bans school districts from implementing a mask mandate. Prior to the TEA’s aboutface, Texas school districts, in this most recent school year, could not mandate their staff and students wear masks, merely recommend they do so.bigbendsentinel.com
Texas schools must notify families of positive COVID-19 cases in classrooms
Texas school districts must now notify teachers, staff and students’ families of positive COVID-19 cases in classrooms or extracurricular or after-school programs, the Texas Education Agency announced in updated public health guidance Thursday.myrgv.com
Texas temporarily drops enforcement of ban on mask mandates
The Texas Education Agency said in new guidance Thursday that it will temporarily stop enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on public school districts imposing mask mandates, citing ongoing litigation.Driving the news: The guidance came the same day that the Texas Supreme Court declined to uphold the mask ban over a technicality, sending the case down to an appeals court.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Why it matters: Public schools can now, for the time benews.yahoo.com
New program will offer many students free internet through BBT, with future of remote learning uncertain in Big Bend area schools – The Big Bend Sentinel
FAR WEST TEXAS – Economically disadvantaged students living in the service area of Big Bend Telephone have a new opportunity to get internet service into their homes for free under a state program that kicked off this month. The Texas Education Agency’s Connect Texas program has partnered with local provider BBT to bring free service to qualifying students through the summer of 2024.bigbendsentinel.com
Ask 2: Are there any recommended online homeschooling programs that parents can consider using instead of sending their children to in-school learning?
<i>At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our </i><a href="https://www.click2houston.com/topic/ask_2/"><i>Ask 2 series</i></a><i>, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.</i>
Online petition calls for virtual instruction at BISD
A petition on Change.org is calling on the Brownsville Independent School District to offer virtual learning as an option this school year rather than require students to attend in-person classes as mandated by the Texas Education Agency.myrgv.com
With school openings near, parents and teachers say state leaders have stripped them of weapons against COVID-19
Public health experts and medical professionals are sounding the alarm over the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19. The governor has stood firm on his ban against masking mandates in schools.
Texas Students Of Color Returned To In-Person Learning At Below-Average Rates. Experts Say The Reasons Are Nuanced – Houston Public Media
The Texas Education Agency cited COVID-19’s disproportionate effect on communities of color as reason for lower engagement and attendance rates among students of color.houstonpublicmedia.org
SMCISD testing results mirror statewide trends
Test results for the 2021 Spring State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness showed declines across the state, especially in mathematics, according to results released Monday by the Texas Educati[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
How local school districts measured in testing after dramatic drop in STAAR test scores
The number of students failing to meet grade-level went up statewide across all grade levels and nearly all subject areas according to results of the Spring 2021 STAAR test released Monday by the Texas Education Agency.
Texas educators worry bill limiting the teaching of current events and historic racism would “whitewash history”
Texas educators say they’re concerned they won’t be able to have open conversations about what’s happening in the world if the Texas Legislature approves a bill that restricts how teachers can discuss current events in the classroom.
Program to help Spanish-speaking dyslexia students
TEA announced that the Esperanza dyslexia program will be supported by the AmplioSpeech intensive digital intervention platform to better serve bilingual students across Texas. Esperanza is the only Orton-Gilligham program in the world for Spanish-speaking students with dyslexia, Cardenas Hagan said. When the global pandemic caused schools to close, TEA wanted to ensure that Texas’ students with reading difficulties such as dyslexia would have access to high quality interventions. Cardenas Hagan wanted to help the schools and educators who reached out to her for assistance meet the literacy needs of bilingual students. However, the AmplioSpeech Spanish dyslexia platform of Esperanza is currently only available in Texas, Cardenas Hagan said.myrgv.com
Austin ISD risks losing $5 million in state funding if more students don’t attend final weeks of school in person
With just seven weeks left in a school year that has been disrupted by the pandemic, Austin Independent School District Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde sent a strangely timed email to parents on Tuesday with the subject “Welcoming Students Back to School.”
These Houston-area schools are maintaining their mask, social distancing policies
However, several Houston-area schools will maintain current safety protocols. Houston-area School DistrictsAldine ISDAldine ISD is upholding all safety protocols, including the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, until further clarification. Cypress-Fairbanks ISDThe district is upholding current safety protocol, including requiring masks, while it reviews Abbott's order and awaits guidance from TEA. Katy ISDThe district is currently upholding its COVID-19 safety measures, which include requiring masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Texas Southern UniversityTexas Southern University is maintaining current protocol, which requires masks or facial coverings, social distancing, temperature checks and daily COVID questionnaires.chron.com
These Houston-area schools are maintaining their mask, social distancing policies
However, several Houston-area schools will maintain current safety protocols. Galveston ISDGalveston ISD will continue to require masks and social distancing throughout the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. “It is my belief that social distancing and masking should continue for now,” said Dr. Richard E. Rupp, medical director for Teen Health Center, Inc. which operates clinics at five Galveston ISD campuses. : H-E-B president Scott McClelland talks masks with ChronColleges and UniversitiesRice UniversityRice University will uphold its room occupancy limits and mask policy, which requires people to wear masks or face coverings while on campus. Texas Southern UniversityTexas Southern University is maintaining current protocol, which requires masks or facial coverings, social distancing, temperature checks and daily COVID questionnaires.chron.com
Texas Education Agency says school boards can determine their own mask policies
HOUSTON – When it comes to masks and children in school, the Texas Education Agency said the mask policy will be left up to each district’s school board. We ask that other school districts do the same. “It isn’t what we wanted (for) the Texas Education Agency to come out with. Molina is the president of the Texas State Teachers Association. After a year of online learning, the state has ordered all vaccine providers to immediately include teachers and school employees.
Texas School Boards Don’t Have To Require Masks, Education Officials Announce – Houston Public Media
Greg Abbott’s statewide mask mandate ending next week, some school districts are likely to face contentious discussions about whether to continue requiring masks in schools. Masks are still required in Texas public schools unless local school boards decide to make them optional, the Texas Education Agency announced Wednesday. Greg Abbott created Tuesday when he announced he was rescinding a longstanding mask mandate, effective next Wednesday, but gave no details about how that would affect schools. About 56% of Texas public school students are attending classes in person, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told state lawmakers this week. Some school districts now face challenging decisions, with their communities deeply divided over how school officials should be responding to the pandemic.houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas Teachers And School Staff Now Vaccine-Eligible Thanks To Nudge From Feds
^ Keep Houston Press Free Support Us LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. The shift in vaccine policy came at the behest of President Joe Biden, who also called out Gov. Greg Abbott for lifting Texas' mask mandate. The state health department outlined the policy shift in a letter sent out to Texan vaccine providers on Wednesday. “Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy,” the TEA’s Wednesday announcement read.houstonpress.com
Texas school boards don't have to require masks, education officials announce
Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas TribuneMasks are still required in Texas public schools unless local school boards decide to make them optional, the Texas Education Agency announced Wednesday. The guidance follows an announcement from the Texas Department of State Health Services that school and child care staff are now eligible for vaccines, effective immediately. Some of the state’s largest urban and suburban school districts, including Dallas Independent School District and Northside ISD, said they would keep the mandate in place. About 56% of Texas public school students are attending classes in-person, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told state lawmakers this week. Some school districts now face challenging decisions, with their communities deeply divided over how school officials should be responding to the pandemic.
Houston Area Schools Respond To Gov. Greg Abbott’s Mask Order – Houston Public Media
HISD, Texas’ largest school district, said it will continue to require students, staff and visitors to wear masks on district property and at district events. Other districts are awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency. His new order states that public schools "may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency." In a statement, TEA said it will issue public health guidance this week before the executive order takes effect. Statement from the Texas Education Agency: "Governor Abbott's Executive Order (GA-34) takes effect next Wed., March 10, 2021.houstonpublicmedia.org
Caught by surprise, Texas education officials unsure how end of mask mandate will affect schools
Texas school superintendents did not receive advance notice of Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement ending the state’s mask mandate Tuesday, leaving them scrambling to tell parents and educators what to expect. Declaring it time for Texas to reopen, Abbott said his mask mandate will end next week, but failed to explain how the decision will impact schools. AdMany superintendents told The Texas Tribune or sent notices to parents saying they plan to continue requiring masks in schools, despite the governor’s decision. “This ill-advised move is likely only to prompt educators to resign or retire.”In the past, the TEA has declined to enforce Abbott’s mask mandate in schools.
How Houston-area school districts are responding after Gov. Abbott lifts mask order
HOUSTON – Several Houston-area school districts are responding after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the lifting of business capacity limits and the state’s mask mandate. Under the executive order, which went into effect March 10, Abbott added that public schools may operate under the standard health protocols issued by the Texas Education Agency. Houston-area school districts have issued statements on how they plan to move forward. This list will be updated as new information is received.
Many Texas students can skip STAAR tests this year, but high schoolers might have to show up to graduate
“It’s not opting out of the STAAR test. Texas has said fifth and eighth grade students who don’t pass required STAAR exams this year may move up to the next grades. But high school students must pass five subject-specific courses by the time they graduate, a requirement that will not be waived this year. “This is about STAAR testing and forcing students to come in for STAAR testing. “I think the TEA has tried to create some flexibility with the STAAR test.
Remote students are not required to take STAAR tests, TEA commissioner says
HOUSTON – Texas students in remote learning won’t be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam, according to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. This option will be available for parents who are concerned about sending their children to school. “The kid won’t take the test and they won’t have access to that information,” said Morath, during a virtual conversation with The Texas Tribune on Thursday. Morath said that the state decided not to cancel the STAAR test because schools need the data from the tests to measure the student’s learning. He added that the state did not have the “logistical ability to do the STAAR remotely.”Students must attend school in-person to take the standardized test.
Join The Texas Tribune for an interview with Mike Morath, Texas education commissioner
Join The Texas Tribune at noon Central time Feb. 11 for a live interview with Texas education commissioner Mike Morath, moderated by Tribune CEO Evan Smith. In this role, he heads the Texas Education Agency, which oversees pre-kindergarten through high school education for more than 5 million Texas students. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. This conversation is presented by Lone Star College and Texas State Technical College and supported by Harmony Public Schools, Educate Texas, Philanthropy Advocates, TEXAS 2036 and Pastors for Texas Children. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.
Texas will require students to take the STAAR test in person
(TEXAS TRIBUNE) – Texas public school students must show up in person to take the STAAR test this spring and districts can apply for waivers to socially distance test-takers, according to recent guidance released by the Texas Education Agency. School districts can set up sites outside of their schools, including performing arts centers, hotels and recreational centers where they can "ensure equitable access and maintain test security." Currently, Texas requires all districts to allow in-person learning for all students who want it, with few exceptions. Texas has already said students in younger grades who fail required STAAR exams can move up to the next grade. Morath said the data from the tests will show the extent of the educational gaps Texas students have experienced during a devastating pandemic.
Abbott, TEA offers $1,500 grants for students with cognitive disabilities impacted by COVID-19
The Supplementary Special Education Services (SSES) program allows eligible families of children to qualify for $1,500 to be used in the SSES marketplace. Priority will be given to Texas families receiving income assistance and to families that have documented financial needs. AdFollowing the submission of an application, eligible families will receive an email to create their SSES marketplace account through ClassWallet. “The SSES program provides crucial academic resources to students with cognitive disabilities and will help close the educational gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Abbott in the release. “I urge eligible Texans to apply for this funding so that the State of Texas can partner with them and provide more support to Texas students.”
It Took This Houston Family 2 Years And Legal Action To Gain Special Education For Their Son – Houston Public Media
The Texas Education Agency is taking on new oversight of special education in HISD. Cross-Ecford declined to comment on their case, but she spoke generally about challenges she's seen with special education in HISD over the years. Its number one finding: "There is confusion about, and inconsistent implementation of, processes related to intervention and special education identification." For her own family, it took two years, legal action and multiple rounds of mediation to finally get her son Vincent services everyone could agree on. However, the district said families "seeking special education services for their children may do so by contacting administrators at their local campus or the school district offices."houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas Education Agency Appoints 2 Conservators Over Special Ed In Houston – Houston Public Media
The Texas Education Agency has tasked two conservators to shore up special education services in Houston schools. Each of the two new conservators come with 40 years of experience in special education. The other, Fred Schafer, has directed special education in Katy ISD, among other districts. Their new task is a big one: Fix what the TEA called “institutionalized” failures in special ed in HISD. “I firmly believe that in the field of special education, support is a very crucial part of making sure that we’re in compliance,” Cordeau said.houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas public school students could be taking STAAR online by 2022
Marie D. De Jesús, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographerThere have been talks in the past about public schools administering State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness assessments online, and education officials are now looking to assist with the successful transition by 2022. In a Texas Education Agency report released on Monday, a one-time investment of about $4 million to improve internet connectivity and an annual amount of $13.4 million more for extra bandwidth and staff training would help in getting all students — with the exception of those who may need paper tests — prepared for digital STAAR tests for the 2022-2023 school year.chron.com
Houston Schools Can Require Students Struggling Online To Return In Person – Houston Public Media
The option to deny virtual instruction is a measure that the Texas Education Agency gave school districts last fall. Houston students who are struggling in online classes may soon be required to return to in-person learning, according to a notice sent to principals this week. If campuses choose to require those students to return to face-to-face instruction, they have to give their families a two-week notice. The option to deny virtual instrution is a measure that the Texas Education Agency gave school districts last fall. So far HISD has not used it, though the Pasadena Independent School District moved to stop virtual instruction for struggling students in December.houstonpublicmedia.org
Texas unveils plan to have all students take STAAR online by 2022
That investment would allow nearly all students to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, online by the 2022-23 school year, according to the report. The TEA hired Texas A&M education researchers to evaluate how ready school districts are to transition to administering STAAR completely online. The researchers surveyed a sample of Texas school districts and other states' testing programs, including California, Florida and Pennsylvania. When surveyed in May, many Texas districts said they needed more devices to transition to fully online testing, according to the report. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath has said students will take the STAAR, but schools and districts will not be rated on their scores.
TEA still blocked from taking over HISD, appeals court rules
Texas is still temporarily barred from taking over Houston ISD, its largest school district. (Credit: Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune)AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is still temporarily barred from taking over Houston Independent School District, a state appellate court ruled Wednesday, upholding a lower court’s order. The appeals court ruling sends the case back to the lower court that in January blocked the state’s takeover effort. It also ordered the state to “pay all costs related to this appeal.”The TEA plans to appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court. In March, Texas successfully appointed a board of managers to replace Shepherd ISD, a four-school East Texas school district.
To curve a tough year, TEA removes A-F grading
The Texas Education Agency announced Thursday that it will pause A-F ratings for the 2020-2021 school year due to "ongoing disruptions associated with COVID-19." The A-F rating is typically used as a benchmark to help teachers and faculty assess where students need improvement. The challenges have been especially pronounced for our parents, teachers, and students. We continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff in our schools this year, while working to ensure students grow academically." This year the test results will allow schools, teachers and parents to see how students are performing.chron.com
There Will Be STAAR Tests, But no Schools Will be Tagged with A-F Ratings in 2020-21.
But, the TEA and others said the STAAR results would be used as a "diagnostic instrument" as opposed to a tool used to assess all public school districts in the state. It has been widely reported by school districts that the move to online learning has not had good outcomes for many students. TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said TEA was changing course because of the immense demands placed on everyone because of COVID-19. We continue to prioritize the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff in our schools this year, while working to ensure students grow academically." LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.houstonpress.com
STAAR test will proceed, but no A-F ratings for 2020-2021 school year, TEA says
HOUSTON – The Texas Education Agency has announced some major changes to the grading system for the current school year. According to a news release, the TEA will be pausing the A-F ratings for the 2020-21 school year due to the ongoing difficulties brought on by the coronavirus. “The issuance of A-F ratings for schools has proven to be a valuable tool to support continuous improvement for our students, allowing educators, parents, and the general public to better identify and expand efforts that are working for kids,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “But, the pandemic has disrupted school operations in fundamental ways that have often been outside the control of our school leaders, making it far more difficult to use these ratings as a tool to support student academic growth.”However, despite the change in grading, the TEA said the STAAR test will proceed as planned in order to “provide critically important information about individual student learning that teachers and parents can use to help students grow. For those schools that incorporate STAAR results into teacher evaluations, TEA is providing flexibility to allow them to remove that component this school year.”The TEA said that while the state exam will not be used for accountability purposes this year, it will help teacher and parents evaluate the progress of individual students while also providing education leaders and policymakers a “comprehensive picture of what are likely to be sweeping impacts of the pandemic on student learning, helping policymakers craft solutions for the years ahead.”
$420M program announced to cover Texas public school costs connected to remote learning
HOUSTON – A $420 million reimbursement program will cover costs incurred by Texas public schools that purchased technology so students could learn remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Office announced Wednesday. “This reimbursement program will significantly ease the financial burden on Texas public schools that have purchased these crucial eLearning devices and also helps ensure that more students have access to these devices as needed,” Abbott is quoted as saying in a news release. School systems across Texas may apply for these reimbursement funds beginning Friday, November 20. TEA will be holding a webinar that day, during which time details of the application process will be provided to participants, Abbott’s office added in its news release.
HISD board votes not to remove ‘interim’ from Lathan’s title; national search to resume
HOUSTON – HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Granita Lathan will remain in the interim role. This after the board of trustees voted, 6-3, Thursday to not make her a sole finalist for the job. Earlier in the day the Houston NAACP preemptively sent out a statement also in support of Lathan being named the sole finalist. Vice President Dr. James Dixon cited what he called Lathan’s ability to work with others and provide stability. KPRC 2 received the following statement Friday morning from HISD’s Press Office:“I respect the decision of the HISD Board of Education to resume the search for a superintendent.
Texas schools still failing special education students, federal review finds
The Texas Education Agency has 90 days to respond from the date of the letter, Oct. 19. The state's actions over the next month hold high importance for the more than half-a-million Texas students who receive special education services through public schools — and those who have been left out. The previous policy on dyslexia was ambiguous and may have directed some eligible students away special education, the federal investigation found in 2018. Despite the revision, many schools confused by the handbook are still consistently declaring students with dyslexia automatically ineligible for special education. The federal visit was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person education for millions of Texas public school students, leaving students with special needs even more vulnerable.
TEA Investigation Slams HISD's Special Ed Operations
Harsh in its criticism of HISD, a special investigation unit of the EA concluded that a state conservator should be appointed to oversee special education operations in the district. Further, several of the years in question were years in which TEA itself illegally imposed an 8½ percent limit on the identification of special education students. Of course, reports critical of the HISD special education operation — in addition to parental complaints — preceded the DOE complaints in 2018. Once again TEA found inconsistent practices and that staff members at the campus and district levels weren't at all sure what HISD's special education policies and procedures were. As it stands, the TEA investigators concluded:"HISD does not hold principals accountable for special education services or for the education of students with disabilities.houstonpress.com
Unfinished charter school becomes neighborhood eyesore in southeast Harris County
HOUSTON – Some neighbors in southeast Harris County said an unfinished charter school building has become an eyesore. Construction work on Elite College Prep Academy – Riverstone, on Riverstone Ranch Drive at Kirksage Drive, was never completed. “We’re sorry that it’s been a bother or purported eyesore to the neighbors, that was never our intention,” Wynne said. Wynne said the state was not going to allow the charter to expand while that investigation was happening. However, Wynne said construction can continue and the charter plans to ask the state to reconsider the decision so it can open up.
Ask 2: Are school districts required to report to parents if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the school?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: Are school districts required to report to parents if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the school? Answer: Yes, schools are required to notify parents when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school. KPRC 2 is providing reopening outlines with the latest updates for more than 40 Houston-area school districts. For a quick glance at your school district and what others are doing in regards to COVID-19 notifications, click here.
Parents of special education students desperate for kids to go back to in-person learning to prevent regression
Help for those in needTexas State Rep. Dan Huberty wants schools to open their doors to special education students now. In Fort Bend Independent School District , students returned to both in-person and virtual learning began on August 17. Becoming your student’s best advocateJones-Taylor admits the return to school is going look different for many special education students. It is TEA’s responsibility to monitor the implementation of special education services across the state. If school districts fail to meet the needs of students receiving special education services, TEA will require that district to take corrective action.
Judge Hidalgo, Gov. Abbott dispute who has authority to allow in-person learning
HOUSTON Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she is disappointed by Gov. Hidalgo urges local school districts to follow an online-only approach while Abbott said each district should decide. Were disappointed by todays guidance from the state revoking local authority on school closures, Hidalgo said in a statement. The spread and impact of COVID-19 is worse now than it was during school closures in March. We continue to urge schools to remain closed to in-person instruction per local health authorities.
Texas Education Agency announces districts can provide remote instruction while receiving funding
HOUSTON The Texas Education Agency announces it will provide funding waivers to school systems that offer remote instruction in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify, districts must provide daily on-campus instruction for families that want to come to campus. Here is a statement from TEA Commissioner Mike Morath:Yesterday, the Texas Attorney General issued guidance that indicated that blanket school building closures ordered by local public health authorities for preventative purposes are not lawful. School systems planning on starting the year with 100 percent remote instruction will still be fully funded in accordance with TEAs previously announced 8-week back to school transition funding waiver. Lawful building closures orders will continue to enable a school system to be funded when providing remote-only instruction.
Gov. Abbott says state will do whatever is necessary to ensure students get best education
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas During a news conference in Corpus Christi to discuss how officials are responding to Hurricane Hanna, Texas Gov. We have a duty to ensure we do not lose a generation of students because of this pandemic, Abbott said. Being able to give students the best education is going to require flexibility, which is why the Texas Education Agency has provided districts across the state with the ability to choose when the school year begins and whether it begins online or in the classroom, Abbott said. There are so many different factors that differ from one school to another, Abbott said. We will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal, whether it be when school begins after four weeks, after eight weeks or after 10 weeks.You can watch the full news conference below:
Harris County orders schools closed until Sept. 8
Many other counties have also ordered schools to push back their start dates for in-person learning. A joint public health order from Harris County and city of Houston health officials states schools must remain closed until at least Sept. 8. But the order could be extended beyond that date, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. Other Texas counties that will require online learning for the initial weeks of the school year include Travis County, Tarrant County, Dallas County and El Paso County. The Harris County order comes a week after Harris County officials recommended schools delay in-person teaching until at least October.
A Texas teacher weighs schools reopening, state guidelines and the coronavirus pandemic
Darcy Vogt Williams, a band teacher in Leander ISD, holds a sign at the protest she organized outside the State Capitol on Jul. Like thousands of teachers across Texas, Darcy Vogt Williams says she's frustrated. We all want to work," Williams said. Williams teaches band at Stiles Middle School in Leander, north of Austin. After hearing teachers from around the state voice similar complaints about the fall guidelines, she said she felt compelled to organize a protest Wednesday outside of the State Capitol.