Texas Education Agency dealing with fallout of Harvey

- The State of Texas called on Austin to try to help with 7,000 Harvey evacuees.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the first step to helping those in need is the Austin Convention Center which can house up to 2500 people and many of those will be children.

The State of Texas called on Austin to try to help with 7,000 Harvey evacuees. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said the first step to helping those in need is the Austin Convention Center which can house up to 2,500 people and many of those will be children.

“This is still an ongoing situation for our districts and students in the Houston area, the Beaumont area, the storm is not over for them yet.”

Lauren Callahan is with the Texas Education Agency, she said they are working to help younger evacuees. A federal act protects students who are considered homeless from any situation including natural disasters.

Some could be here for quite a while and if parents decide to enroll their children, they can. “That's really important both for a sense of normalcy for a student to be back in class as well as that learning opportunity. We're right at the beginning of a new school year for everybody,” Callahan said.

The TEA is also dealing with students missing school. Callahan said schools receive funding based on attendance so it’s important for kids to be in school. Commissioner Mike Morath sent out this statement Tuesday:

“The effects of Hurricane Harvey continue to be felt in a large portion of the state, impacting a great number of our school districts and charters. Damage from high winds, heavy rains and ongoing flooding conditions have forced the cancellation of classes over an extended period of time. For some, this interruption has come at the very beginning of their school year. While in other districts, the school year was already underway."

As of Tuesday, 58 counties fall within Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster proclamation.

Those counties include: Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Trinity, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy and Wilson.

In response to cancellations caused by this extreme weather event, I am authorizing the following:

• For districts and charter schools that had already begun the 2017-2018 school year prior to Aug. 28, 2017
Districts and charter schools in the 58-county disaster declaration area closed due to the hurricane are eligible to apply for a Missed School Day waiver for any scheduled instructional days missed from Friday, Aug, 25, 2017, to Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.
• For districts and charter schools that were scheduled to begin the 2017-2018 school year the week of Aug. 28, 2017

Districts and charter schools in the 58-county disaster declaration area closed due to the hurricane are eligible to apply for a Missed School Day waiver for any scheduled instructional days missed from Monday, Aug, 28, 2017, to Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

Districts and charter schools requesting this waiver will need to apply for the Missed School Day waiver using the TEAL waiver application. As a result of this waiver, school systems in disaster counties that have missed school days as referenced above due to the hurricane will not have to make up those days on the school calendar.

Each Missed School Day waiver is worth the number of operational minutes for that day on the school’s calendar up to 420 waiver minutes per day. Therefore, if a district or charter school has a longer operational day, they may need to use additional minutes or days built into the calendar, or add minutes as needed by the end of the school year to ensure it meets the 75,600-operational minute requirement.  

School systems in disaster counties that will miss additional school days after Sept. 4, 2017, due to the hurricane, should contact the Texas Education Agency individually to discuss available options.

Questions related to waivers should be directed to Leah Martin and Ron Rowell, at (512) 463-5899 or at Leah.Martin@tea.texas.gov or Ronald.Rowell@tea.texas.gov.

The Texas Education Agency continues to be in contact with our regional Education Service Centers and many of our school districts affected by this weather event regarding issues created by Harvey.

Additional announcements regarding various issues as it relates to the storm will be forthcoming.”

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