The decisions to re-open Texas schools for in-person education should be made on the basis of sound public health considerations, not because of politics. And since health conditions vary widely across Texas, the biggest say in when students and teachers can safely meet again in the classrooms should belong to local, not state, officials.
Unfortunately, two decisions by state leaders in the past week risk getting all of that terribly wrong.
First, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a nonbinding opinion that says local health authorities can’t order schools to delay in-person instruction. Shortly after, Texas Education Agency issued a stern warning: Any campus that keeps its doors closed beyond the grace period TEA has already provided will lose its state funding.