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Texas lets schools stick to online learning well into fall

SeattlePI.com Friday, 17 July 2020
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas gave public schools Friday permission to keep campuses closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall as the state scrambles to contain one of the largest resurgences of the coronavirus in the country.

The changes were announced a day after Texas set its daily record for virus deaths, with 129, and reported more than 10,000 new confirmed new cases for a third consecutive day. It also follows a backlash from teachers and parents who criticized Texas' earlier timeline that had students returning to classrooms by August or September as rushed and putting students and staff in danger.

Under the new guidelines, Texas schools could hold online-only instruction for up to the first eight weeks of the school year, potentially pushing a return to campus in some cities until November. That includes Dallas and Houston, where school leaders concerned about the surge of new COVID-19 cases have postponed the first day of class until after Labor Day.

“The health & safety of students, teachers & parents is the top priority,” Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted shortly after the announcement.

President Donald Trump and his administration have demanded that schools fully reopen right away, calling for new guidance from federal health officials and slamming schools that want to bring students back for only a few days a week.

Texas' largest teachers organization dismissed Friday's announcement as based on an artificial deadline.

“Educators, students and their parents need assurance that school buildings will not be reopened until it is safe to do so. Right now, with the pandemic still raging across Texas, we don’t know when that will be,” Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina said in a statement.

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Video Credit: CBS 11 Dallas - Published
News video: Texas Education Agency Allowing Schools To Begin Virtually For First 4 Weeks

Texas Education Agency Allowing Schools To Begin Virtually For First 4 Weeks 01:11

Schools in Texas will be allowed to begin the 2020-2021 school year virtually for at least the first four weeks, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced Friday. Katie Johnston reports.

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Texas lets schools stick to online learning well into fall

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas gave public schools Friday permission to keep campuses closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall as the state...
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