TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — The online versus in-person option for schools in North Texas to educate students for the 2020-2021 school year is still a point of contention for some teachers and families.

Board members with the Fort Worth Independent School District met Thursday morning to hammer out how the school year will begin, after recent comments from Attorney General Ken Paxton and guideline funding changes by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

The Fort Worth ISD meeting, held virtually, began with the comment portion — allowing parents, teachers, students, and health personnel to sound off for a minute and half.

One woman said, ““As and educator and a parent I desperately want to be back in school with my students, but not at the expense of mine or anyone else’s health or lives.”

The emergency meeting was scheduled in response to Paxton’s guidance on who has the power to shutdown schools during a pandemic. The attorney general’s non-binding opinion letter indicates county health officials do not, unless there is an outbreak.

After receiving information from Tarrant County Public Health, the Fort Worth ISD had set the online instruction school start date of August 17, with in-person classes beginning on September 28

Now the FWISD is one of several districts revisiting the discussion of how to open schools next month.

During the meeting parent Mitchel Rovelco said, “If we send the kids back to school we are essentially starting an uncontrolled experiment that we do not have a good idea of what the results will be.”

Another parent asked, “How do you expect a family with two working parents, or a single working parent, to make this work?”

After two hours of public input the board closed that portion of the meeting and went into executive session to continue the discussion.

At some point later today the board will reconvene the emergency session and possibly issue new directions for the upcoming school year.

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