July 28, 2020      6:44 PM
Updated: In reversal, state now says Texas schools closed by local health orders will not get full funding
AG Paxton weighed in and Education Commissioner Morath confirmed that previous guidance saying schools would continue to be fully funded if they were closed by a local or county health order is no longer applicable
Editor’s note: This
story has been updated to include comments from Education Commissioner Morath –
Texas Attorney General Ken
Paxton took the lead on school openings this afternoon, nixing the idea
local health authorities can dictate school closures.
This would be a reversal
of state guidance. Back on July 15, the Texas Education Agency
was ready to fund remote instruction based on local closure orders, an idea
that seemed to be aligned with the fact more infection should mean more time
away from classrooms.
Given that latitude, public
health authorities in urban regions of the state indicated local school
districts were not even close to reopening. Were state leaders interested in
more time away from schools? Not so much.
Despite the change,
Education Commissioner Mike Morath said “Protecting
the health of students, teachers, and staff remains our first priority.”
By Kimberly Reeves