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COVID-19 & Texas Law

This guide is updated to reflect information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information in this guide is subject to change at any time.
The State Law Library cannot tell you what a law means for your situation. Please contact an attorney for help determining what the law means for you. If you have questions or need help finding resources, please ask a librarian.
The State Law Library cannot tell you what a law means for your situation.


Masks at Schools

Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-38 prohibits school districts from requiring face coverings. Paragraph 4 of GA-38 states:

no governmental entity, including a [...] school district [...] may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering.

A lawsuit challenged the school mask mandate, but the Governor's order was ultimately upheld by a ruling in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has issued COVID-19 guidance for public schools. This guidance prohibits school systems from requiring students or staff to wear a mask in line with GA-38

Safety Requirements for Schools

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the state agency tasked with overseeing public education for grades K-12 in Texas, with oversight of both independent school districts and charter schools. TEA has issued guidance on various COVID-19-related issues that affect public schools in Texas.

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have also issued guidance for K-12 schools. 

Most school districts have also created their own plans that outline the school's safety protocols. Check your school district's website or contact them directly for a copy of these plans. 

Texas Guidance

Federal Orders & Guidance

Remote Learning

The TEA issued guidance that allows schools to offer remote conferencing for up to 20 days to students who have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19. Some students may be eligible for remote conferencing for a longer period of time. This option will remain for the entire 21-22 school year. Remote conferencing is defined as "two-way, real-time/live virtual instruction between teachers and students" and cannot be taught by a teacher who is teaching in-person students simultaneously. 

House Bill 1468 would have provided state funding for school districts' remote learning options, but this bill failed to pass during the 87th Regular session. As a result, many Texas school districts canceled their plans for offering more remote learning options during the 21-22 school year. It's a good idea to check the school district's policy for more information. Additionally, some school districts may partner with the Texas Virtual School Network to offer full-time remote instruction. 

Texas Guidance

Understanding the Law

Rights of Children with Disabilities or Special Needs

Texas Guidance

Understanding the Law