Statement from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on School Funding for 2020-21 Academic Year
AUSTIN — “Over the past month, TEA (Texas Education Agency) announced a funding waiver framework that fully funds schools for remote instruction for the entire year for any family that requests remote instruction. To generate funding for remote instruction, school systems must also provide daily on-campus instruction for families that want to come on campus, with several critical exceptions designed to maximize the health of students, teachers, and staff:
• As part of an 8-week back to school transition period, school systems can offer a solely remote instructional setting, subject to some requirements;
• For up to 5 days if a school building is closed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus, at any point during the school year, schools will be funded for providing remote-only instruction;
• Even beyond this 5-day exception, any day a school building is closed as part of a legally authorized closure order, schools will be funded for providing remote-only instruction;
• High schools can offer an alternating on-campus/remote instructional experience in order to reduce the number of students in campus buildings at one time.
“Yesterday, the Texas Attorney General issued guidance that indicated that blanket school building closures ordered by local public health authorities for preventative purposes are not lawful. School systems planning on starting the year with 100 percent remote instruction will still be fully funded in accordance with TEA’s previously announced 8-week back to school transition funding waiver. Lawful building closure orders will continue to enable a school system to be funded when providing remote-only instruction. Also, it’s important to note that the school start date remains at the discretion of local school boards.
“TEA continues to monitor the public health situation very closely, working in collaboration with school systems, and remains prepared to adjust or adapt its waiver framework as necessary to ensure we keep students, teachers, and staff safe.”
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