Texas leaders ensure financial stability for public school districts through spring semester with hold-harmless extension

For a third consecutive semester, Texas public school districts will not be penalized financially due to declining enrollment and attendance as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, due to an extension of the hold-harmless guarantee, state leaders announced March 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
For a third consecutive semester, Texas public school districts will not be penalized financially due to declining enrollment and attendance as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, due to an extension of the hold-harmless guarantee, state leaders announced March 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

For a third consecutive semester, Texas public school districts will not be penalized financially due to declining enrollment and attendance as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, due to an extension of the hold-harmless guarantee, state leaders announced March 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

For a third consecutive semester, Texas public school districts will not be penalized financially due to declining enrollment and attendance as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, due to an extension of the hold-harmless guarantee, state leaders announced March 4.

In a typical school year, the state allocates school funding based on student enrollment and daily on-campus attendance. However, as a result of COVID-19 and the advent of remote learning, Texas leaders implemented a hold-harmless guarantee at the onset of the pandemic nearly one year ago to ensure school districts would receive funding for spring 2020 based on attendance projections made prior to the public health crisis.

The guarantee was first extended for the fall 2020 semester and again March 4 for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

"As more districts return to in-person instruction, we are ensuring that schools are not financially penalized for declines in attendance due to COVID-19," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a March 4 statement. "Providing a hold harmless for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year is a crucial part of our state's commitment to supporting our school systems and teachers and getting more students back in the classroom."

According to a March 4 news release, the extension of the hold-harmless guarantee allocates funding above the statutory guaranteed level of funding for students who are not enrolled, or for students who attend—even if remotely—less frequently. For the spring semester, the guarantee is being provided as long as on-campus attendance participation rates do not decline or remain at, at least 80 percent or higher.


The guarantee also ensures that Texas school systems can retain their teachers for the 2020-21 school year for whom they originally budgeted.

"Educators have again proven to be the backbone of their communities throughout this year-long public health crisis," said Shannon Holmes, executive director of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, in a statement. "Just as school districts' main responsibility is to educate our children, it's the state's responsibility to provide necessary resources so educators can do their jobs. This is an important and welcome boost of support for our state's public schools."

The announcement comes one day after the Texas Education Agency released updated public health guidance allowing individual school boards to determine local mask policies. Also on March 3, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that all Texas teachers and school staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


MOST RECENT

More than 150,000 vaccines have been administered in the Spring and Klein areas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spring, Klein vaccine rollout: 2 ZIP codes have vaccinated 50% of their population

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 159,066 doses have been administered, and 57,456 residents have been fully vaccinated.

"Breaking Strongholds" is a faith-based, eight-episode series that explores topics such as suicide and depression. (Courtesy Terry Weaver)
Series shot in Montgomery County aiming for Hulu, Netflix deal and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The Spring ISD board of trustees will consider extending the 2021-22 school year calendar and school day for six select campuses, at its April 13 regular board meeting. (Screenshot via Zoom)
Spring ISD to consider extending 2021-22 instructional calendar, school day for select campuses at April 13 board meeting

Affected campuses include Clark Primary, Clark Intermediate, Bammel Elementary, Bammel Middle, Eickenroht Elementary and Major Elementary schools.

Active COVID-19 cases continue to level out in Spring and Klein ISDs. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spring, Klein ISDs continue to see steady COVID-19 cases

Both districts have seen a relatively steady plateau effect since returning from spring break.

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits will end April 14. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
DMV officials say no grace period following waiver of car title, registration; new housing set for Magnolia, Cypress

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

While there are not many Spring- and Klein-area races in the upcoming May 1 election, there are a few local utility districts that will have items on the ballot for voters to consider. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spring-Klein-area park bonds, municipal utility district directors on May 1 ballot

While there are not many Spring- and Klein-area races in the upcoming May 1 election, there are a few local utility districts that will have items on the ballot for voters to consider.

Construction is underway on the office condo project. (Rendering courtesy Read King Commercial Real Estate)
Office condo project coming soon to Vintage Marketplace

The new offices are within walking distance of restaurants such as Ambriza Social Mexican Kitchen and Bellagreen.

From left: Klein ISD Superintendent Jenny McGown and Tomball ISD Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora gave presentations and answered several questions at a North Houston Association breakfast on April 8. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Klein, Tomball ISD superintendents talk work programs, goals for 2021

The superintendents of Klein and Tomball ISDs met to discuss work programs, COVID-19 adaptations and hopes for the 2021 legislative session at an April 8 North Houston Association event.

The dental practice is lead by Dr. Kranh Tran and offers a variety of services ranging from teeth cleanings and whitening to dental emergencies, Invisalign and extractions. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Smilecrafters Dental relocates from Champion Forest Drive to Louetta Road in Spring

The dental practice is lead by Dr. Kranh Tran and offers a variety of services ranging from teeth cleanings and whitening to dental emergencies, Invisalign and extractions.

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Layne's Chicken Fingers coming to Katy; Gyro King opens in Sugar Land and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Less than 25% of American office workers have returned to in-person office settings since the start of the pandemic. (Courtesy Pixabay)
DATA: Texas metros lead the nation in return to in-person work since start of pandemic

About 37% of Houston office employees had returned to in-person work as of the end of March, as compared to an average of less than 25% in other major U.S. metros.