HOUSTON, July 15 (Xinhua) — U.S. Texas schools could be closed for in-person instruction this fall without losing state education funding, a Texas Education Agency (TEA) spokesperson told local media on Wednesday.
The Texas Tribune quoted the official as saying that TEA would continue to fund school districts if local health officials order them to stay closed, as long as they offer virtue instruction for all students.
Last week, TEA released an order requiring schools to offer in-person instruction five days a week for all students who want it for the school year starting this fall.
Meanwhile, Houston Independent School District (HISD) announced Wednesday that all students in the school district will start the school year virtually from Sept. 8.
Online classes will continue for six weeks through Oct. 16, said the announcement. In-person instruction is scheduled to begin on Oct. 19, but the date is subject to change depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once in-person learning resumes, all employees and students will be required to wear masks, wash their hands and observe social-distancing in school.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise on Wednesday in Texas. According to Texas Health and Human Services, the state added 7,307 new confirmed cases Wednesday, bringing the total number to 282,365, with 3,432 deaths. Enditem