A post from Dallas ISD on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Dallas ISD on Facebook.

The Dallas ISD superintendent expressed doubt about schools reopening next month.

During a Thursday interview on MSNBC, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said he was having “second thoughts” about the district’s Aug. 17 start date.

Hinojosa also claimed that he was doubtful that Texas high school football would resume in 2020, but he later clarified to The Dallas Morning News that was only his opinion. The University Interscholastic League, the state’s extracurricular governing body, will make the decision.

Hinojosa told the Morning News that delaying the start date was a potential backup plan, but now, “It’s certainly becoming more of a primary plan every day that goes by,” he said.

The superintendent said his recommendation to the school board would be to push the district’s start date back until after Labor Day. He notified the school board that he will organize a meeting to discuss the calendar within the next few weeks.

“We’re going to talk to the school board, talk to our staff,” Hinojosa said. “How do we manage the calendar? All of those kinds of things are going to be hugely important. We’re just starting preliminary staff discussions.”

DISD, along with many in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, planned to use a provision in state law to begin school earlier. Otherwise, the state’s code orders that classes shouldn’t begin before the fourth Monday in August.

Hinojosa’s comments come after the Texas Education Agency issued guidelines Tuesday for reconvening a new school year, with on-campus safety procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and optional remote learning for every student whose parents request it.

“Texas public school districts must reopen campuses for in-person instruction in August in order to continue receiving state funding, unless Gov. Greg Abbott issues a school closure order or there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 on an individual campus that forces a temporary shutdown of the building,” Education Commissioner Mike Morath said.


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