We are dedicated to advocating for our more than 51,000 students, 7,000 employees and families as we approach and develop flexible instructional plans for the 2020-2021 school year. This afternoon, Board President Amy Weir and Superintendent Steve Flores, Ph.D. sent a letter to Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath, the chairmen of the state’s public education committees.
In their letter, they implore TEA to allow local school districts to make decisions based on the conditions facing their community to protect the health of students and staff and ask TEA to:
- Suspend in-person school until the seven-day average hospitalization rate is five or less, the threshold set by the Austin-Travis County public health agency for a Stage 2 response.
- Provide additional funding to supplement costs incurred by districts to provide safe and effective learning, specifically by appropriating CARES ACT funding directly to districts rather than supplanting state funding with this federal infusion meant to support pandemic efforts.
- Suspend the STAAR and the A-F grading system for the 2020-2021 school year.
The letter is in response to TEA’s recently announced rules and guidelines for opening the school year that currently requires districts to offer 100% in-person instruction for all students. This requirement, with the current public health environment considered, makes it difficult for Districts, campuses and staff to ensure with certainty the safety of students and themselves during the school day.
“This is a historic moment in our country’s public education system. Lives depend on the decisions we are making,” Dr. Flores said. “We understand that the future of our country depends on the education we provide our students, but for long term success, we must protect our students and educators now. We must provide schools with the resources they need to keep students healthy and academically engaged in a safe environment until we are through this storm.”
If you would like to share your concerns as well, we encourage you to contact: