Following an announcement from state Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency has deemed it safe for students, teachers and staff to return to school in the fall.
“It will be safe for the Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school for in-person instruction this fall,” Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said in a statement Thursday. “But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses.
The TEA is expected to release guidelines on what in-person instruction in the fall should look like by next week.
The announcement from Morath comes after Abbott notified state lawmakers that students will be able to return to campus in the fall, months after school districts nationwide were closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, forcing students and teachers to practice distance learning to do their schoolwork at home.
The Texas Tribune reported that school districts will not be required to mandate students wear masks or test them for COVID-19 symptoms.
Abbott’s announcement comes after the state reported a new record high in the amount of people hospitalized with the disease at 2,947 and a total of 93,206 total reported cases.
There are 1,347 known cases of the disease in Hidalgo County with 84 hospitalizations.
Local school districts have publicly made plans to return to school in the fall be it in person, distant learning or a hybrid of the two scenarios. They are expected to release official plans within the next few days.