TEA has begun providing information to school districts about using a newly created program that provides half-day funding for up to 30 additional school days for grades pre-K through 5 as a solution for dealing with COVID-19 educational interruptions for the upcoming school year. This program was created in House Bill 3 during the 2019 legislative session, and Education Commissioner Mike Morath has enthusiastically promoted it, including as the focus of his presentation to TCTA members at our winter 2020 annual meeting.

TEA predicts that the 2020-21 school year is “likely to include short-term disruptions to instruction and high student absenteeism” in anticipation of additional waves of COVID-19 infections, and recommends additional days in conjunction with major revisions to the school calendar. TCTA is not aware of a surge of districts planning to make such changes for 2020-21, but teachers should be alert to any such discussions because of the many challenges and the need for strong educator input. Click here to read more.