Bill that would fund virtual learning awaits Gov. Abbott's signature

By: Santiago Caicedo

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After months of concerns from parents and teachers on the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom, more students could get the option to take their classes at home.

Brownsville mother Yvonne Rocha is worried her 11-year-old child, who is too young to get vaccinated, will catch COVID-19 while in school.

Senate Bill 15, which sits on Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk waiting for his signature, could give school districts with a grade of C or better state funds to offer virtual learning.

However, it would only be offered to 10 percent of the student population in the school district.

One member of the state board of education says the proposal would not bring a complete solution.

"I think that they're making unnecessary hurdles for our school districts,” said Texas State Education Board Member District 2 Ruben Cortez.

The proposal is only for the current school year, and comes with more limitations. A student cannot have failed their STAAR exam, cannot have more than 10 unexcused absences within a period of six months, and cannot have received a grade lower than a 'C' in classes during the last school year.

Currently in the Valley, school districts such as PSJA and South Texas ISD are offering virtual learning by using their own funding.


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