State to provide funding for in-person instruction
Texas school systems that have seen a decline in in enrollment and attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic will see more funding to increase on-campus attendance.
In a Thursday news release, state Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state will provide a "hold harmless" to Texas school systems for the rest of the 2020-2021 academic school year only.
The funding is being provided to support schools for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year as they continue to support student learning that has been disrupted by the pandemic – as long as they maintain or increase current levels of on-campus attendance, the news release stated.
"As more districts return to in-person instruction, we are ensuring that schools are not financially penalized for declines in attendance due to COVID-19," Abbott stated in the news release. "Providing a hold harmless for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year is a crucial part of our state's commitment to supporting our school systems and teachers and getting more students back in the classroom."
Schools are usually funded based on the students enrolled and the daily attendance on campus, according to the news release.
This year, the Texas Education agency prioritized flexibility to ensure essential funding support for school systems by providing full funding based on daily attendance - whether the attendance was in-person or remote. The hold harmless, which was previously provided in the first semester of the school year, allocates funding above the statutory guaranteed level of funding for students who are not enrolled, or for students who attend less frequently.
For the current second semester, it is being provided as long as on-campus attendance participation rates do not decline or those rates otherwise remain at least 80%.
This final semester of hold harmless means districts have been held harmless for three consecutive semesters, according to the news release.
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