The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District Board of Trustees approved a resolution Monday that asks Gov. Greg Abbott to allow the district to make local decisions regarding COVID-19.
School board members, who voted unanimously to approve the resolution, believe that having the ability to locally mandate masks amid rising activity would help provide a safer environment for in-person instruction.
The school board specifically asked Abbott to recognize that local school boards have the exclusive authority to determine whether face coverings should be required and to give the education commissioner the authority to allow funding for virtual instruction in the event that school boards determine their districts need virtual learning.
“We thank the support and unity of our PSJA School Board and entire community to send this strong message, as we continue to work on keeping our students safe,” PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo said in the release.
The resolution also highlighted Hidalgo County’s disaster declaration, which county commissioners extended Tuesday. District officials said the county’s declaration “specifies that COVID-19 and its variants are an unforeseen and unavoidable emergency of urgent public necessity, which requires district officials to make decisions quickly to ensure the safety of its students and employees.”
On Tuesday, La Joya ISD also announced it will be hosting a news conference Wednesday morning to highlight the safety measures it will be taking and address any questions or concerns parents have expressed.
Tours of the classrooms and facilities will also be available after the news conference.