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Rep.Allison, Steve

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by: Rep. Allison, Steve

San Antonio legislator had led push for extended grace period.

(SAN ANTONIO) — State Rep. Steve Allison of San Antonio applauded Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday for announcing that public schools will not be penalized for enrollment declines during this highly volatile and unusual school year. For months, Rep. Allison has led a bipartisan effort among legislators calling on the Texas Education Agency to provide funding for school districts.

Governor Abbott announced that a “hold harmless” guarantee he enacted in the fall will be extended for the rest of the school year. Because funding for public education is based on average daily attendance, school districts faced significant funding declines because some students have not returned to school following the prompt closure of campuses last spring.

At the same time, the pandemic has presented schools with a number of unexpected challenges, such as the need to establish extensive remote learning programs, the cost of protective equipment for staff and students, and learning loss among some students caused by their time away from the classroom.

“This decision gives public schools the stability they need,” Rep. Allison said. “Students and teachers have had a difficult year and schools need the flexibility and resources required to ensure learning continues.”

Rep. Allison led a bipartisan group of legislators — more than half the members of the Texas House — in writing a December letter to Commissioner of Education Mike Morath urging him to extend the hold harmless guarantee. He again pressed Commissioner Morath on the issue during a meeting of the House Public Education Committee earlier this week.

“Schools will now have the funding certainty they need to address the pandemic’s many challenges, from academic progress to student mental health,” Rep. Allison said. “This will reinforce the vital work our public schools are doing to educate kids and prepare them for success in the future.”

Rep. Allison is serving in his second term representing House District 121, which includes parts of north central and northeast San Antonio, as well as the cities of Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, and Olmos Park.

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Austin, TX 78768

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1635 NE Loop 410 Suite 506

San Antonio, Texas 78209