AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Education Agency announced Wednesday, March 3, school districts have discretion when it comes to their mask policies.

This comes a day after Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34 which fully reopens Texas and makes wearing masks in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, no longer a state requirement starting March 10.

The TEA’s authority to implement operational requirements for public schools remains in effect, the agency said.

As a result of the lifting of the order on masks, TEA has updated its Public Health Guidance.

Under this updated guidance, a public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged.

Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy, the TEA said.

The TEA has also made updates related to surface cleaning requirements.

CBS 11 spoke to several school district leaders about their mask policies.

“My reaction is we’ve got to keep going, we’ve gotten so close,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “My expectation is we keep masks on, and keep social distancing for the rest of the year, because I want everyone back in August, and that’s the best chance to get it done.”

Fort Worth ISD said in a brief news release, “The District’s guidelines, including mask-wearing and other safety procedures, will continue.”

“There is no change to our policy,” said Yasmin Bhatia of Uplift Education. “We are continuing to require masks of every staff member member and scholar in our buildings.”

“As long as our local health authority recommends that we wear face coverings we will follow those recommendations,” said Denton ISD Superintendent Jamie Wilson.

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