Texas schools guaranteed funding with in-person classes


Remi Williams

Regardless of enrollment numbers, the Texas Education Agency extended six weeks the funding guarantee to schools offering in-person education. Because schools offering in-person instruction have higher enrollment rates, the funding guarantee extension was made to help more students continue with their education.

Ana Cuen, Managing Editor

As schools adjust to a new academic year with COVID-19 guidelines, the Texas Education Agency guarantees first-semester funding to schools offering in-person instruction despite enrollment number changes. The TEA extended the funding guarantee an additional six weeks, giving schools the flexibility to assess student enrollment changes. 

“This is a win for Frisco ISD and other school districts across the state. We all expected attendance to to be rocky for the first part of the fall semester as students got used to taking classes virtually, but school districts did not necessarily anticipate enrollment decreases,” Frisco ISD Chief Financial Officer Kimbery Smith said via email. “Enrollment in FISD is still up over last fall, but not as much as demographers projected prior to COVID-19. Under-enrollment is an issue across the country as it seems many parents opted to keep their children out of school altogether rather than have them attend school virtually. By extending our funding guarantee, the state bought us more time to stabilize operations without worrying about having the funding available to get through this school year. We’re hopeful that if enrollment does not stabilize by the second semester, the state will consider further extending the funding guarantee.”

Due to the decline in student enrollment from COVID-19, the TEA hopes on-campus funding will promote enrollment, as schools offering on-campus education have a higher enrollment rate than those solely offering virtual academy. 

In addition, schools that utilize the funding extension will be required to identify non-enrolled students.

Gathering data from now until January, the TEA will later announce if funding will also be adjusted for the second half of the 2020-2021 school year.

“Given the uncertain nature of this public health crisis, we are giving as much support and flexibility as possible to school districts to ensure that we are balancing the need for student learning with our desire to help all our state’s students, teachers, staff, and families remain healthy and safe,” Commissioner Mike Morath said in the Oct. 1 statement


This story was updated on Oct. 11 to incorporate a quote from Frisco ISD.