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Online school extended for districts in Texas

Previously, schools had been told they would need to limit online only instruction to the first three weeks or they would lose state funding.

TEXAS, USA — A bit of relief tonight for school districts and educators in Texas who were wanting more time to start the school year with online learning. There is word now that schools will be given more flexibility when it comes to that.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott told a Houston TV station Tuesday that distance learning options will be extended. Previously, schools had been told they would need to limit online only instruction to the first three weeks or they would lose state funding.

One health expert in Austin has warned that reopening school buildings in areas where cases of the coronavirus are rising could result in an even bigger outbreak.

"Somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-percent of students could be infected over the course of this disease," Dr. Mark Escott said. "In that .03-percent for Travis County would mean 40 - 1,370 deaths for that age group."

Yesterday, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said city-county leaders met with the superintendents of six area school districts to come up with a game plan for the start of school.

"This is the worst time ever for example for some of our school districts who do year-round school, who are going to start in mid-July," Canales said. "How can we start in mid-July if we are the number one county for COVID growth?"

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath released a video message to parents:

"It is a challenging time for all of us. We at TEA and educators all over the state of Texas are working to figure out how to provide that support to parents who are in normal times a child's first teacher and in our present time a child's direct teacher."

The governor said the plan would be finalized in the next few days.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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