Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – (Houston, TX) – Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston) and Senator Creighton (R-Conroe) are continuing their push that real Texas Medical Center data shapes the public policy discussion regarding reopening schools in local ISDs. Harris County Judge Hidalgo (D-Harris County) announced yesterday that as long as we are in “Red Level 1” that school districts should not have the option for in-classroom instruction and should submit plans to Harris Public Health before resuming in-person instruction.
This is despite Texas Attorney General Paxton (R-Texas) opining (https://bit.ly/3gWzbZS), along with guidance from Governor Abbott (R-Texas), Lt. Governor Patrick (R-Texas), Speaker Bonnen (R-Angleton), legislative Education Chairs Representative Huberty (R-Kingwood) and Senator Taylor (R-Friendswood) that local health departments do not have the authority to issue a preventative order for the blanket closure of schools.
"We are winning the battle against COVID-19,” said Senator Creighton. “The single greatest threat to the employment of a single mom is to keep schools closed. Also, our kids benefit from being back in school, not just for quality education but also for nutrition and support. With COVID-19 having a 99% survival rate and millions of Texans depending upon employment and keeping their kids learning, we need to open schools on time with appropriate safeguards.”
“Judge Hidalgo says to let science be science but ignores the CDC guidelines urging schools to reopen,” said Senator Bettencourt. “She needs to use numbers that are real numbers like the TMC data above which show COVID-19 hospitalizations are way down. Hospitalizations should be the key statistic for any plan. Mathematically, I don’t see how Hidalgo’s plan would let in-classroom instruction happen until 2021.”
Senator Bettencourt and Creighton are available for comment on this important public policy issue.