The Hays CISD board of trustees along with Superintendent Eric Wright approved a letter Aug. 30 to the Texas Education Agency and elected officials including Gov. Greg Abbott to demand local control that will better suit the county and current health conditions.

In addition to Abbott, the letter was also addressed to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath; Attorney General Ken Paxton; Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels; and Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood.

“As educators, we know that one size does not fit all. Providing local districts the flexibility to adapt to the COVID-19 conditions in our area is the best strategy to keep Texas students healthy, in their classrooms and engaged in learning for the entire school year,” stated the letter.

The past couple weeks have been filled with public speakers arguing for their beliefs, whether they want or oppose a mask mandate while the board tries to figure a way through the delta surge.

However, some parents have failed to recognize that mask mandates are difficult for the board to enforce and have essentially been blocked by Abbott.

“Once upon a time people told us they wanted us to have local control and that was a big deal, but I guess that was only when it was going to be controlled one way,” board member Meredith Keller said.

Earlier in the meeting, Wright announced updated COVID-19 protocols to track positive cases and try to prevent the spread by providing masks and establishing seating charts in buses to keep masked and unmasked children in their respective pods. For now, however, all the board can do is encourage mask use but not enforce it.

“Hays CISD will continue to move forward implementing the best, most effective plans to educate our students while keeping them, our staff and our community safe, knowing that we are all in this together,” concluded the letter.