SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County schools must not reopen campuses for in-person learning until after September 7, according to a health directive issued by the Bexar County Health Authority Friday.
Students in any grade from pre-k to grade 12 are included in the order. The directive also suspends all school-sponsored events and activities, including athletic competitions and extracurriculars.
The directive orders school systems to develop a written plan of safety and health protocols by no later than Friday, August 21, and that further delays may be possible based on assessments of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The directive says school boards may accommodate families without internet access by providing access to remote learning or by following Texas Education Agency guidelines.
Bexar County officials included all schools -- including private and charter schools -- in their directive, which was issued house after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance to private educators saying local public health orders stopping reopenings don't apply to them.
According to the Texas AG, such orders violate the U.S. and state constitutions and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
During city and county leaders' daily coronavirus briefing Friday evening, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg responded to Paxton's guidance, saying "if our interest is in saving lives, we should do our best to ignore our Attorney General, in general."
County Judge Nelson Wolff added, "I think it's just another disappointing letter to get."
Several San Antonio-area school districts, including Northside and North East ISDs, had already decided to start the school year with distance learning for all students.
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