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Texas Students Will Return To School Campuses This Fall, Gov. Greg Abbott Tells Lawmakers

A general view inside an empty classroom at a primary school in Hertford, after the majority of schools in the UK closed while the spread of the COVID-19 continues.
Andrew Couldridge | Reuters
A general view inside an empty classroom at a primary school in Hertford, after the majority of schools in the UK closed while the spread of the COVID-19 continues.

Texas students will be returning to public schools in person this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott told state lawmakers Thursday morning.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath has determined it will be safe for students to return to their campuses this fall. School districts will not be required to mandate students wear masks or test them for COVID-19 symptoms, confirmed Frank Ward, a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency.

The TEA will release additional guidance for school districts next Tuesday.

According to state lawmakers on the 11 a.m. call with Abbott, school districts will be able to also offer instructional alternatives for students. National surveys have shown many parents do not feel safe sending their students back to the classrooms.

The decision comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise statewide, and local officials begin to put firmer restrictions in place to tamp down the spread in their cities and counties.

This story will be updated here.

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