Texas orders schools to offer in-person classes if they receive state funding

Texas officials are reportedly ordering schools to offer in-person classes in order to receive state funding. 

Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced the requirement Tuesday, according to the San Antonio Express-News, the same day the Texas Education Agency released its guidelines for resuming on-campus instruction for the upcoming school year. 

“On-campus instruction in Texas public schools is where it’s at,” Morath said during a conference call with superintendents, according to the newspaper. “We know that a lot of families are going to be nervous, and if they are nervous, we’re going to support them 100 percent.”

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The rules laid out by the education agency call for daily on-campus learning to be available for all parents who would like their students to learn in school each day. It also allows parents to choose an option for remote learning for their children, either initially or at any point as the year progresses. 

The guidelines also call for all students, teachers, staff and visitors to schools to be screened before going on campus. It also allows the district to have the option to establish a phased-in return to on-campus instruction for up to the first three weeks of the school year. 

Florida similarly issued an order Monday for all public schools to reopen for in-person instruction in the fall. 

Nearly all schools shut earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. Many states have yet to rule on what the upcoming school year will look like as officials start lifting some coronavirus restrictions. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE on Tuesday said the White House would put pressure on governors to get schools opened in the fall, despite rising coronavirus cases in the U.S. driven mainly by spikes in states in the south and west. 

“We don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed. No way,” Trump said during a White House event with government officials and school administrators.

“We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everyone else to open the schools,” the president added.