Chisum ISD

Chisum ISD has changed its start date for the second time in as many weeks.

Previously, the district had moved its date to after Labor Day, but after an announcement from the state’s attorney general, moved it back up to Aug. 24, according to Superintendent Tommy Chalaire.

“We wanted to start as early as possible,” he said.

On July 28, State Attorney General Ken Paxton said in non-binding guidance that local health authorities do not have the authority to unilaterally shut down schools in their vicinity while Covid-19 cases rise. That contradicted what the Texas Education Agency had told school officials.

After the announcement, the TEA updated it’s guidelines for handling the virus to say that it will not fund school districts that keep classrooms closed because of a local health mandate. Districts will only continue to receive state funding if they get the agency’s permission to stay closed, according to a Texas Tribune article.

And, things can alway change, Chalaire said.

“It’s the new normal,” he said. “We adapt, adjust and overcome.”

The district is just focused on educating their students, he said.

Since the state is allowing parents to choose online learning this year, he said about 15% to 18% of parents have gone that route, at least for the first grading period.

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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