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Masks at Schools | Safety Requirements in Schools | Remote Learning | Children with Disabilities & Special Needs
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.
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.
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.