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TEA News Releases Online Aug. 29, 2017

Commissioner Morath authorizes Missed School Day waivers for districts affected by Hurricane Harvey

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that school districts and charters within Gov. Greg Abbott’s 58-county disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey can submit Missed School Day Waivers for any scheduled instructional days missed this week due to recent adverse weather conditions.

“Hurricane Harvey hit our state as many districts prepared to begin the new school year. In some communities, the school year was already underway,” said Commissioner Morath. “High winds, heavy rains and flooding have had a devastating effect on campuses throughout a large portion of Texas. Along with everyone at the Texas Education Agency, we stand ready to assist our schools in the weeks ahead.”

As of today, 58 counties fall within the Governor’s disaster proclamation: 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, Commissioner Morath has authorized the following: 

  • For districts and charter schools that started 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.  

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.

Commissioner Morath noted additional waivers will likely be necessary for those school systems in disaster counties that will miss additional school days after Sept. 4, 2017, due to the hurricane. These additional waivers will be granted timely manner and on a case-by-case basis. The Commissioner’s letter to school districts can be viewed at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Hurricane_Related_Waivers/

The Commissioner is in ongoing contact with many superintendents in communities hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey. He is also working closely with regional Education Service Centers in those areas throughout this catastrophic weather event. 

In addition, to assist school districts and charters affected by Hurricane Harvey, Commissioner Morath has established a central resource page on the Texas Education Agency website. The page will serve as a central resource regarding issues related to questions and issues arising from the hurricane.

To view the Hurricane Harvey Resource Page for school districts and charters, visit http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Other_Services/Weather_and_Disaster/Hurricane_Harvey_Resources/.

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