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Texas classrooms can stay closed without losing state funding if local health officials order it

EPISD students
KVIA
EPISD students walk to class and greet their teachers in this file photo.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Local public health officials will be able to keep Texas schools closed for in-person instruction this fall without risking state education funding, a Texas Education Agency spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

Last week, the state's education agency released an order requiring schools to open their buildings to in-person instruction five days a week for all students who want it. The order gives districts a transition period of just three weeks at the start of the year to hold classes virtually and get their safety plans in place before allowing students back on campuses. After the three-week transition, districts that stay entirely virtual would risk losing funding.

But TEA officials confirmed Wednesday they would continue to fund school districts if local health officials order them to stay closed, as long as they offer remote instruction for all students.

Gov. Greg Abbott told Houston's ABC television station this week that the state would ease up on stringent reopening requirements, as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations skyrocket across Texas, and would give school districts more flexibility to stay virtual for longer than three weeks. Public health officials warn that reopening school buildings in areas with a lot of community spread will exacerbate the virus’ impact on those communities.

Even before Abbott's statement, some local public health officials had moved to mandate that schools remain closed at least through Labor Day, saying it would be unsafe to reopen school buildings while the pandemic was raging. El Paso and Laredo health officials were among the first to issue those mandates last week. And Tuesday, Travis County health officials ordered all public and private schools to delay on-campus instruction at least until Sept. 7.

It was unclear last week whether Abbott or the TEA would let those orders stand.

The wavering guidance has confused and frustrated teachers and parents wanting to know what the upcoming fall will mean for themselves and their families. A University of Texas and Texas Politics Project poll showed recently that 65% of Texans said it was unsafe for children to go back to school. And teachers unions are encouraging their members to look for legal avenues to stay home, including resigning or retiring early, instead of being forced back into classrooms while cases are rising.

A TEA spokesperson told the Texas Tribune that school superintendents and school boards cannot make the decision to stay entirely virtual for longer than three weeks without a mandate from public health officials.

Some school districts, including the Ysleta Independent School District, are moving their start dates to later in August and then starting their school years entirely virtually for three weeks.

The TEA is expected to roll out revised guidance on reopening schools in the upcoming days.

Texas Tribune

KVIA ABC-7

Comments

80 Comments

    1. That’s not what happened at all. He realized that local governments were putting outrageous requirements in place that would FORCE school districts to give up state funding. He decided he didn’t want kids paying the price for local government stupidity.

      1. Parents want their kids in school. They understand the value. Now the unions on the other hand….they don’t care about kids. They only care about protecting the worst teachers in the system, in this case, the ones who would rather stay home than do their jobs.

      1. Don’t be an idiot turner. The least likely to get infected are the kids. The teachers’s union still get paid and they don’t have to teach anyone. The kids are the ones that need to be at school and get this virus over with. Who the hell told you, you were sane turner, alias alberto muerto?

      1. No. You are the serious health problem here moron. Mentally diseased Alberto running wild and stupid on the internet. Like giving a child a gun. He should be locked up at UBH forever.

      2. Wrong again turner. The only people we hold accountable to are those we elect. Noting will happen to the idiot scientists that insist on closing the economy. No one elected them to make such deciisons.

    1. Technically something should be done about that. Even the car insurance companies made adjustment in the form of rebates due to the COVID19.

    1. Of course you do. Your a socialist freeloader who wants every one to get everything for free.

      MOST teachers yes. That is the only accurate thing you’ve ever posted here. But the unions don’t really focus on those teachers. They focus on the ones who don’t do their jobs, mistreat kids and then complain constantly. I’ve been in education for 30 years and I have never been in a union and never will. I don’t need a union because I do my job.

      1. No one is more of a freeloader than Corporations who got tons of free welfare money through Trump tax cuts. No one gets welfare like Trumps fat cat buddies. That’s were the free money is going, not to poor people, or the disabled. The welfare queens are the Feos, Mike’s, and mggas who are tripple dipping the hell of the government. Talk about moochers!

        1. No one is more of a freeloader than Alberto and his 60 aliases. Military retirement and civil service retirement is not welfare moron. You welfare is. Jealous? LMAO.

    2. Not if the property tax payers can help it. You don’t pay any property taxes Alberto so no skin off your fat hide. You like messing with other people’s money. Alberto the section 8 welfare queen.

        1. Hey moron even Alberto knows he has money. That’s why he calls him a triple dipper. Your white guy impersonation is getting tiring. Dream up a better psycho alias and theme.

    3. The teachers already had 6 mo of doing nothing and still got paid dufus. You don’t pay taxes so you’ll go for anyone that supports your sorry arse from doing nothing but wallow in the canal. I like the old adage, no work, no eat.

      1. Teachers still provided instruction. They still provided virtual lessons. There are lots of great platforms out there to make virtual learning more successful for teachers and students but it just isn’t the same as seeing your students in your classroom everyday, interacting with them, helping them when they struggle. There are just some things that a computer cannot replace. Not to mention the tens of thousands of kids who never log in to even get those lessons. Or how about those kids who get knocked around by their parents on a daily basis? For this kids, schools is a refuge. A safe place. Does anyone care about those kids? It’s just so much more complicated than teachers getting paid for staying home.

      2. Teachers don’t get paid for doing Nothing, dummy. Sounds like you been getting paid all your life for doing nothing. Only teaching you’re qualified for is basket weaving. Can’t trust you to teach anything else because if you use your head you might hurt yourself.

    1. Guess he takes after you, feo. All you do all day is post dumb shit on here and talk to your imaginary friend Alberto. Listen to your Psychiatrist when he tells you there is no Alberto otherwise your treatment for hallucinations will go on forever.

  1. magga been in education for 30 years and doesn’t know how crooked Trump is. Guess it will take you another 30 years to know Crooked from Straight!

    1. I have no idea how long you’ve been alive but you obviously still don’t know how crooked Hillary is, how corrupt Obama is and how crooked, corrupt and stupid Biden is so what’s your point?

      1. I take that back. It will take you until your next life to understand how corrupt your perfect president actually is. But I won’t hold my breath. Even when Biden kicks Trump out of office, I have a feeling you will still say he was not corrupt, but a victim of a Democratic deep state hoax or some such crazy nonsense. I thought an educated person was not to be fooled by demagogues or would be Autocrats. Guess I was wrong. You are a first for me.

        1. You mean exactly as you’re doing with Obama/Biden? The most incompetent, corrupt Administration in our history. You know what evils Biden has done and yet you’re still hellbend on voting for him. There aren’t enough pallets of cash in the world for him to pay off as many countries as he’s going to have pay off.

        2. Biden will be in a nursing home well before the election. His dementia is getting worse. He won’t take a cognitive impairment test for obvious reasons.

      1. Either you are a Denier or Delusional. Or both. I get the feeling that you know how corrupt Trump is, but you’re putting me on. Are you for real, or are you a bot malware virus dedicated to spread lies about Biden and promote Trump. Gotta check my antivirus and see if your name comes up.

        1. Stop watching leftist media like CNN, ABC or MSNBC and you would know that truth about Biden. It’s obvious you are delusional. Biden will lose.

        2. Its you uxcrement that is the fool for the stupid comments you make here. Uniformed, uneducated and unethical. That is you, demoKKKrat excrement.

    2. Can you imagine this person being able to vent his hate politics to students? If this man is teaching children somewhere in El Paso, we need to find out where he teaches and take his posts on this blog to his supervisors. No one with this kind of vile politics should be in a teaching position.

      1. You have to remember, I am a Republican so no, I don’t talk about politics. Unlike democrats, I teach my students to think for themselves, to not be sheep, to look for facts. To use their brains for it’s intended use. It would be against the law any for school district to discipline anyone based o political affiliation. You of course wouldn’t know that, because you believe in a 2-tiered justice system where democrats can do whatever they want and republicans can’t. Hypocrite Castro Communist A-hole.

  2. Interesting view from the government tit suckers. Nado, madmike, Fero2a, original caca, K1DPR. Sooooooo here’s an observation: Let’s use Madmike as case in point, a LE. Gets paid by the taxpayer. Tickets the crap out of the taxpayer. Retires on the taxpayer. Double dips on the taxpayer. Badmouths the taxpayer. Lol. Need I say more.

    1. That’s not double dipping. That’s called working hard for a living, contributing to your pension via payroll and then enjoying retirement. I don’t know what type of pension LEO’s make but I’m sure that it isn’t enough to sustain a full retirement and I’m sure Madmike (like most of us) put a little a side each month to supplement his retirement. That’s what working Americans do.

      1. You impress no one with your All American work ethic jive. You spent 30 years, so you say, hanging out in a school classroom brainwashing kids. Never broke a sweat doing a real hard days work. So no. You don’t deserve the money you’re getting. Give your pension to St Judes Hospital, or to the SPCA. You’ll feel better, I promise.

      2. Unlike uxcrement, I admire and respect your contribution to our kids. uxcrement is just one of the slime balls that live in the mind of alberto muerto. They don’t know sh*t from shinola and they eat it every day. Thanks for your service.

    2. madmike is not a law enforcement officer. He is a retired security guard who was forced into retirement to avoid being fired for wrongful discharge of a firearm.

  3. Careful Feo. fedomikegeedub will hurt your little feelings! And then you’ll get mad and want to break him in half like you do a Loaf of Bread.

  4. These Right Wing Nutjobs aren’t real people, guys. They are Malware. Check your security settings. No real person can be so dedicated and loyal to a half wit, moronic idiot like Trump

  5. Actually your are the only one here that is a flaming libtard/Demorat. All the aliases you use don’t count. Add it all up and it equals one psycho moron. It must suck being outnumbered and out done. BTW – Get help for that TDS.

  6. Yes let’s cut the salaries and pay to educators. Then they lose their homes. Homes foreclosed. And your taxes will magically Go down!!!!!! Lol. Maganomics by the local 6 white deplorables. Trumpologic!!!! Go Jr!!!!! Vrooooom!!!!!! Kahuh kahuh! Lol

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