COVID-19 Updates

TPCSA is continuing to monitor the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on school operations and funding. If there is a challenge or issue that you are grappling with, please reach out to TPCSA COO Natalie Kaharick at nkaharick@txcharterschools.org, and we will help source answers and solutions. And, if you are willing to share the resources you are using to communicate with parents, students, and staff; self-reporting processes and procedures; or anything else you have produced that has helped your community, please forward those as well.

We know this is going to be logistically challenging and emotionally challenging for you, your staff, and families, please let us know how we can support you through this crisis. We will update this page daily with important information and resources to help the charter school community navigate this unprecedented time of uncertainty.

Information about Federal Funding through the CARES Act

On April 3, 2020, the White House confirmed that Charter Schools are eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES act. Here are some helpful resources for Superintendents and Board members to review in consideration with the school’s legal and financial experts.

Information about these programs is changing regularly. We recommend you consult with your banking institution for the most accurate information.

Federal Guidance on FERPA and Educating Students with Disabilities

On Friday, March 20th, the President announced that the federal government would waive testing and accountability for all K-12 schools this year. The U.S. Department of Education issued the following letter with guidance on this issue. 

The U.S. Department of Education also issued a new Guidance Fact Sheet on FERPA and virtual learning

Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Education released a fact sheet in response to concerns that previous guidance left school districts unsure of how to provide services for students with disabilities while school buildings are closed as a result of COVID-19

Resources for School Leaders

Internet Access 

Shared by National School Choice Week,“Many of these educational resources require internet access. Note that, due to the coronavirus emergency, Comcast has announced that it will be increasing speeds for its Internet Essentials program and offering new, low-income customers 60 days of complimentary service. To sign up, visit their webpage. Similarly, Charter is offering 60 days of free access to Spectrum Wi-Fi for households with K-12 and/or college students who do not have a Spectrum subscription. Families can enroll by calling 1-844-488-8395.”

Texas Cable Association - For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, Altice USA is offering its Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to new customer households within our footprint. Eligible households interested in this solution can call 888-633-0030 to enroll in the Suddenlink region, which includes Texas.

TEA Updates

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath and his team are holding daily calls to keep the Texas public school community updated on the latest developments. These calls are being held at 3p.m., 7 days a week. You can join these calls by accessing https://zoom.us/s/748027666 or dialing 669-900-6833 and entering Webinar ID 748 027 666.

TPCSA CEO Starlee Coleman has been sending out a daily email of key takeaways from the calls. You can access the archived notes on our blog.

Federal Guidance Around Supporting Homeless Students During COVID-19

School Meal Program Resources

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on Friday announced the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has been granted flexibility from the federal school meal program to allow schools to continue to provide meals to students while they are closed due to coronavirus concerns.

Mealstoyou.org will deliver meals to kids in rural areas. For information on how some of the state's ISDs are handling meal distribution, see the following links:

Additional Resources

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