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Texas School Districts Risk State Funding If They Go Remote After Thanksgiving

The sign outside San Antonio ISD's Lamar Elementary directs parents to Facebook for the latest coronavirus updates.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The latest guidance from the Texas Education Agency warns school leaders against proactively moving their entire district to remote learning.

The agency’s updated rules state that districts which return to 100% virtual instruction without documented cases of the coronavirus will only get credit for half days. If districts opt to go remote anyways, they will either have to add days to their calendar or lose state funding. Districts are funded based on enrollment and attendance.

TEA does permit individual campuses to switch to virtual instruction for up to five days if a student or staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus. The agency’s updated rules extend the time period a campus can remain remote to up to 14 days if too many of the school’s teachers are under quarantine and they would be inadequately staffed for in-person classes.

The Austin Independent School District sent a note to parents on Friday stating that the district was considering going remote the week after Thanksgiving.

Many Texas colleges are going remote following Thanksgiving break to help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, but so far, San Antonio’s traditional school districts haven’t made similar announcements.

The Keystone School, a private K-12 school in San Antonio, has decided to transition its older grades to distance learning when it returns to school Nov. 30 through Dec. 19.

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