Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath has been directed by Gov. Greg Abbott to waive specific requirements for school districts or open-enrollment charter schools to continue offering virtual instruction options for students in grades 3 through 12 via the Texas Virtual School Network (TXVSN) for the next two school years.
“Texas wants to see all of our children succeed and receive the best education possible,” Abbott said in a statement. “Many parents across our state have found that the best fit for their child’s education is through virtual instruction. Today, I am directing TEA to ensure thousands of Texas students enrolled in virtual school programs can continue to receive the education that best fits their needs until a more permanent solution is adopted during the next regular legislative session in 2025.”
Under current state law, Texas schools may offer virtual instruction through a patchwork of several different statutes, the governor’s office said. One statute authorizes schools to receive full-time funding for students enrolled in local, virtual learning programs through TXVSN.
TEA’s waiver authority will allow school systems providing full-time virtual instruction to receive full funding for each student in grades 3 through 12 who successfully completes the school year, Abbott’s office said.
To ensure that students receive equitable, effective online instruction, TEA administers the TXVSN, sets standards for and approves TXVSN courses and professional development for online teachers, and has fiscal responsibility for the network. The TXVSN is made up of two components—the TXVSN statewide catalog of supplemental high school courses and the full-time TXVSN online schools program.
TEA said it will communicate to school districts around the state who have provided virtual instruction under other statutes to continue their virtual instruction under the authority of the TXVSN.
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