SY 21-22 K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project

Date:  September 16, 2021                
Subject: SY 2021-2022 K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project
Category: Informational
Next Steps:  Share with appropriate staff


Beginning today and continuing through the end of school year (SY) 2021-2022, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be supporting school-based COVID-19 testing activities through the work of vendors funded by an $800 million federal grant.

This program is open to eligible public and private school systems in Texas. Stand-alone Pre- K only and child-care providers are not eligible. If school systems have a Pre-K or childcare program that is in the same building as K-12 students and they co-mingle, then staff and students in those programs are eligible for testing through this program.

TEA has posted a list of public school systems with their opt in status and test allocation. If a public school system participated in the state’s previous testing program, they do not need to reapply. If a public school has not signed up yet and would like to participate, the school system should submit an applicationAll eligible private schools will need to submit an application to opt into the program.

Independent of the state’s testing program, the City of Houston also received funds through the same federal grant program to support a set of public and private school systems within the City of Houston boundaries. If you are in the Houston area, please review the list of school systems the City of Houston will support and determine if you are considered eligible for their program. If so, you will see that you have a reduced allocation to use through November 15 through TEA’s program, after which you will transition to being supported by the City of Houston’s grant.

As part of the SY 2021-2022 K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project, school systems should develop a plan for testing throughout the year. Tests provided under this project are designed to be used immediately, not stocked for future use.

As part of this program:

  • All eligible public and private school systems will be provided a list of COVID-19 testing providers that are associated with this program and will choose the providers that meet their needs. School systems are able to change their vendors throughout the duration of the program and may work with multiple vendors for different services as needed.
  • Schools will be provided COVID-19 tests from their selected providers at no cost to the district. The cost at which a school system will receive their testing kits or services will vary by vendor.
  • COVID-19 test providers will bill DSHS directly, so school systems are not required to enter into contracts with vendors.
  • School systems will be required to submit documentation certifying receipt of goods and services, as well as reporting testing results consistent with grant guidelines and state requirements. This form will be available next week.


TEA and DSHS have created a number of resources to support school systems involved in the testing program:


SY 2021-2022 K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project Presentation

Describes best practices on testing and logistics of the testing project.
Public and Private School System Opt-In Application

The application should only be filled out by eligible public systems that are NOT currently enrolled in the state’s testing project and ALL eligible private schools.
K-12 Current Opt-In List and Test Allocation Spreadsheet

Identifies the school systems that are automatically opted into the testing project based on previous participation, as well as those participating in the City of Houston
program, and all allocations.
School Systems Supported by the City of Houston COVID-19 Testing Program

Identifies school systems that will be served by the City of Houston testing project in lieu of the state’s testing project.
Vendor Resource Sheet
Provides information on services provided by the five project testing vendors.
Testing Vendor Webinars

Additionally, beyond the availability of tests, a $221M grant program will also be available to provide funds for eligible school systems to contract for additional services or products. TEA will provide more information on the grant program at upcoming webinars:



Please send any questions to