Conroe ISD puts virtual school on hold after state bill fails

Plans for a virtual school are on hold in Conroe ISD. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Plans for a virtual school are on hold in Conroe ISD. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Plans for a virtual school are on hold in Conroe ISD. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Conroe ISD began making plans for a possible virtual school this spring, including hiring a principal, but those plans are on hold after a piece of legislation did not pass at the state level.

Texas House Bill 1468, which would have funded the program, did not pass in the 87th Texas Legislature, which ended May 31.

"Prior to the end of the legislative session, CISD was actively making plans for a virtual school for the 2021-2022 school year," CISD Director of Communications Sarah Blakeloch wrote in an email. "The Legislature did not pass a law approving funding for this instructional option, and plans for a virtual school in CISD have been put on hold. Updates will be shared as information becomes available."

During the 2020-21 school year, the Texas Education Agency counted virtual attendance, known as remote synchronous attendance, as if students were attending school in person. As a school district's funding is tied to attendance, this allowed school districts to receive funding from the state for students who were attending virtually. HB 1468 would have continued this practice of allowing virtual attendance to be counted for funding, but it did not pass. Without this bill's passage, the district will not be receiving that funding for virtual students in the 2021-22 school year.

CISD Superintendent Curtis Null said in an April 23 livestream that virtual schooling was dependent on if the state would allow it. The plan had been to have virtual school for grades 3-9 and then expand it to grades 10-12.


Brooke Sjoberg contributed to this report.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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