Though Gov. Greg Abbott in May issued a mandate preventing Texas school districts from mandating mask wearing this coming school year despite the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 delta variant, Pflugerville ISD officials are doing what they can to encourage safety heading into the 2021-22 school year.

PfISD board President Renae Mitchell said in an Aug. 9 statement it is the district's position to strongly encourage all staff and students to wear masks in all of its facilities.

"In accordance with Gov. Abbott's mandate, we cannot require masks, but we are strongly encouraging them for everyone on our campuses, even those who are fully vaccinated," Mitchell said in the statement. "We are calling on Gov. Abbott to provide more local control for school districts regarding mask mandate guidelines."

The district is also encouraging state legislators to fully fund virtual learning throughout Texas so districts may help protect their most medically vulnerable students.

According to the statement, PfISD is spending about $2.6 million for virtual learning for the 2021-22 school year, but that amount will only support a small fraction of students.

Within the statement, Mitchell also provided contact information for staff from the Texas Education Agency and Abbott's office so that parents may further campaign for mask mandates and more funding for virtual learning:

Gov. Abbott Chief of Staff Luis Saenz—[email protected] or via phone at 512-463-1762
TEA Education Commissioner Mike Morath—[email protected]

"Now, more than ever, we understand the need to be flexible and look for ways to support our students, staff and their families," Mitchell said in the release.