Public schools in El Paso are hoping that the Texas Education Agency extends the extra funding it has been providing for the first semester of the school year.  As a result of the negative effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on enrollment and attendance state-wide, TEA agreed to fund districts based on projected attendance instead of actual attendance for the first semester of the school year.

Since schools receive funding based off of attendance, those districts that had already been seeing declining enrollment prior to COVID were already looking at less state funding even if by chance they’ve been able to maintain the same attendance rates this year than they had in previous school years.  Maintaining that attendance is no small task when taking into account all the disruptions and added obstacles that having to quickly move to a remote model of instruction causes and that’s not even factoring in that more people have still been getting sick, quarantining, etc.

TEA has gone on record saying that as of now, extending the length of that extra funding will be offered is not in its plans, but there is some hope as they’ve also indicated that they are still deciding on what steps to take next.

For those El Paso families with school-age children, I’ll go out on a limb by saying that most educators would prefer to be able to provide a more traditional, in-person, educational experience.  Student’s have been struggling to adjust but so have teachers and other staff.  Keep doing the best you can and hopefully it’ll be safe to send student’s back to their campuses soon. With that said, I do sometimes wonder what “normal” education will look like going forward.  I’m not so sure that non-college online classes will completely go away.  Time will tell…...

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