ARLINGTON, Texas — Parenting during the pandemic got a little harder Thursday after families across Texas learned schools would reopen this fall.
Gov. Greg Abbott told state lawmakers students would be returning to classrooms. The news was confirmed by top state education officials.
"It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall. But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses," said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.
Here are five big questions parents are facing when balancing school work and safety.
1. Masks won't be required by the state
The Texas Education Agency says the state will not require masks for staff students or teachers. Individual districts might have different policies.
2. The state will provide PPE
The state government will pay for districts across the state to have PPE, according to a TEA spokesperson. Whether your school chooses to use or require PPE is up to your local district leaders.
3. COVID-19 testing will not be mandatory
The state will not require students to test for COVID-19 symptoms, according to the TEA.
4. You will be able to keep your kids at home.
Families with health concerns will have the option to participate in remote education, according to the TEA.
5. What if there's a COVID-19 outbreak?
The TEA did not provide a specific answer or point to a specific plan on what would happen in case of an outbreak.
The agency urges parents to be patient. Families can expect updated guidelines as early as next week, which could help you decide between sending your kids back into the classroom or keeping them at home.
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