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AP: Texas education official says schools to be open in the fall

By Jim Vertuno 

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Thursday public schools will be open in the fall for on-campus learning but there will be flexibility for parents who want to keep their children at home.

Texas already allows campuses to hold summer school with social distancing guidelines. Details of a broader re-opening of campus for the fall semester will be released next week, Morath said.

The announcement comes as Texas faces record highs of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Even in that environment, Morath said state officials have determined it will be safe to return to school.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered schools closed March 19, sending more than 5 million students into distance-learning programs to finish the spring semester. 

“It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall,” Morath said. “But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses.”