NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The Texas Education Agency will reportedly allow public health officials to keep schools closed for in-person instruction this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic without the campuses risking losing state funding.
It was just last week when the agency issued an order requiring schools to open for in-person instruction five days a week for all students and parents who want it. The order gave districts a transition period of three weeks to hold classes virtually and get their safety plans in place before allowing students back on campuses. After the initial three-week transition, any district that continued with an entirely virtual curriculum would risk losing funding.
In a turnabout on Wednesday a spokesperson with the TEA reportedly confirmed to the Texas Tribune that the agency would continue to fund school districts if local health officials order them to stay closed — but that remote instruction must be offered for all students.
It was just one day ago that Governor Greg Abbott told CBS 11 News Political Reporter Jack Fink that there was a plan to ease reopening requirements for school districts and allow for flexibility with virtual instruction as the state continues to break records for new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.”
The funding decision also comes less than a week after the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) announced that the Board of Trustees is convening a special meeting later this month to consider potential administration recommendations for an alternative start date for the 2020-2021 school year.
COVID-19 requires school districts to be innovative and flexible as education is being reimagined around the globe. We're closely monitoring this ever-changing landscape and will continue to work with the Texas Education Agency as we prepare to safely reopen schools. (1/3)
— Dallas ISD (@dallasschools) July 9, 2020
In a tweet DISD officials said, “COVID-19 requires school districts to be innovative and flexible as education is being reimagined around the globe. We’re closely monitoring this ever-changing landscape and will continue to work with the Texas Education Agency as we prepare to safely reopen schools.”
The TEA is expected to roll out revised guidance on reopening schools in the upcoming days.