(CHRON) – A TEA spokesman said Thursday the no-funding rule applies only to unlawful closures. In his guidance letter, Paxton indicates local health orders to close schools are unlawful, but as the Houston Chronicle reports, that guidance is not legally binding. In a statement released Wednesday, the TEA said it will still fund schools that are closed under lawful health orders.
“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," Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said in the statement. "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."
Shortly after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent out a guidance letter stating local health authorities cannot issue orders that close schools as a preventive measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Texas Education Agency issued guidance that said it will not fund schools that are closed under unlawful local health orders.
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