California and Texas schools face more weeks online

Schools in California counties with high infection rates must remain online
By: | July 17, 2020
California districts in COVID hotspots must start the school year with online learning while Texas school systems now have more flexibility to continue with remote instruction. (GettyImages/Mayur Kakade)California districts in COVID hotspots must start the school year with online learning while Texas school systems now have more flexibility to continue with remote instruction. (GettyImages/Mayur Kakade)

A surge in coronavirus cases in Texas and California have convinced officials in two of the largest states to start the school year with widespread online and distance learning.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday directed that schools district remain online if they are counties that are on the state’s coronavirus monitoring list for high levels of COVID-transmission.

Some of the state’s largest districts, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, had already decided to remain online when the school year starts.

California’s new school reopening guidance allows schools to resume in-person instruction once their county has been off the list for 14 days.


More from DA: Schools can only reopen safely where COVID is under control


Once schools reopen, the state envisions extensive COVID testing for school personnel.

4 weeks of online learning in Texas

The Texas Education Agency updated its school reopening guidelines Friday to allow districts to limit on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of school.

[VIDEO: Texas education commissioner Mike Morath’s message to teachers and parents.]

After that period of time, a district can request a waiver from the agency to continue with online learning for an additional four weeks.

Districts in areas with high rates of infection are also allowed to delay the start of the school year.

However, families who lack internet access or computer devices are entitled to daily, in-person instruction, the agency’s guidelines say.

Districts also now have the flexibility to convert high schools to full-time hybrid models even after in-person instruction has resumed. This will allow for adequate social distancing.


DA’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on K-12.