Photo courtesy of HPISD
All Texas schools are to remain closed for the rest of the academic year, and public school districts will continue online learning to avoid losing state funding, an announcement that came from Gov. Greg Abbott April 17.
Abbott’s decision was praised by many superintendents and school officials who deemed it unsafe to allow students to return to classes. Across the state, many graduation ceremonies have been postponed until later in the summer and are unclear whether or not health officials will allow them to happen.
“The team of doctors advising us has determined it would be unsafe to allow students to gather at schools for the foreseeable future,” Abbott said during the Friday press conference.
The Texas State Teachers Association President, Noel Candelaria, also urged the state to continue fully funding school districts and require them to keep paying hourly workers such as custodians and food service workers.
The news of the school closures comes with Abbott’s plan to slowly reopen essential businesses while continuing to practice social distancing. Beginning on April 24, retail stores will allow “to go” services for product pickups to avoid as much contact as possible. State parks will also begin to reopen.
“In reopening Texas, we must be guided by data and doctors,” Abbott said. “We must put health and safety first. We must prioritize protecting our most vulnerable populations.”
Texas is among many states across the country that are preparing to reopen businesses to the public but will continue to move at a glacial pace to ensure that everyone stays safe.
In Highland Park, teachers will continue to provide instruction and engage students in learning for the remainder of the school year through the Connect HPISD plan for instructional continuity