The TEA updated its public health guidance Aug. 19 to state it will not enforce the governor's order "as the result of ongoing litigation."
Advocacy group Disability Rights Texas on Aug. 17 filed the first federal lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott and TEA Commissioner Mike Morath on behalf of 14 child plaintiffs with disabilities.
The suit claims Abbott's July 29 executive order prohibiting public entities from setting mask mandates is discriminatory. According to the suit, the ban on required masking puts children with disabilities at a significant risk and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Several counties, cities and school districts already faced fines after defying the order. Dallas and Austin ISDs were the first school districts in the state to mandate masks against the governor's order Aug. 9.
Aug. 16, the day before the advocacy group filed the federal suit, the Texas Supreme Court backed Abbott's order with a ruling that temporarily blocks mask mandates set in Dallas and San Antonio.
TEA will release further guidance "after the court issues are resolved," according to the agency's public health guidance document.