School Funding

Texas Schools Strive To Provide Virtual Learning Option Without State Funding


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LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) – Parents in central Texas are looking for virtual learning options weeks before school starts.

Round Rock and Leander are moving forward with a virtual learning option despite a lack of public funding, but places are limited.

“It gave me peace of mind and it was nice to have them at home,” said Elyse Lucero.

Lucero has a team of three inside the Leander Independent School District, all under the age of 12. They have remained virtual until now.

“They are on the waiting list, because I missed the investigation meant enrollment,” Lucero said.

A waiting list for the program began on July 21 with 101 applicants on day one. The program is capped at 320 students, but finally, Leander ISD officials say 150 students are currently on the waiting list.

In a survey conducted last month by Leander ISD, 504 students from 356 LISD families expressed a medical need for a distance learning option for 2021-2022.

District officials say it’s hard to be fair here.

“Because we don’t get any funding for students in this program, we have a fixed amount to fund this program,” said a spokesperson for Leander ISD. “If we had a funding mechanism, we could consider increasing the capacity of this program, but we need the state to act. ”

The Round Rock Independent School District, one district above, also offers a virtual option for K-6 grades. Information on how to register will be available on July 29, but places are also expected to be limited.

Leander ISD officials say they expect to fund the one-year, $ 2.8 million program with either federal stimulus or ESSER funding. Texas will not be providing funding for 100% virtual learning students next school year.

The neighborhood is also in the process of hire an assistant manager to oversee distance learning operations as well as additional virtual learning teachers.

“I wish Pflugerville ISD would change their mind,” said Sharon Candelas.

Without a virtual learning option in Pflugerville, Candelas is also starting to consider outside home education options for her students.

“With the delta variant soaring, we have all been very concerned about the impact this could have on our families,” said Candelas.

Williamson County is in the red-level transmission phase – the highest level – after cases more than doubled in just one week. Cases have also increased 6.5 times since the end of June, according to Williamson County.

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