Andrea Lucia explains.
- Three major North Texas School districts announcing they are canceling their plans to open new virtual academies this fall. Andrea Lucia explains what happened.
ANDREA LUCIA: "We regret to inform you," begins the letter from Garland ISD, echoing announcements from Frisco and Plano a day earlier. The three districts were among many across Texas with plans to open new virtual learning academies in the fall. In Frisco, nearly 1,000 students had already applied. But Plano ISD says the Texas Education Agency has told them funding for those students won't be an option. Now all three have said their plans are on hold.
More than a dozen school districts across North Texas advocated this year for new legislation that would have made virtual schools financially feasible. With online classes allowed this past year, they argued, some students had been able to accelerate their learning. And others, like elite athletes, to pursue their passions. For students with life threatening illnesses, the district said it allowed them to stay enrolled while receiving treatment.
State lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the bill that would have allowed districts funding for full time virtual students. But they ultimately failed to take a final vote before the clock on the regular session ran out.
Now, Denton ISD said it has already hired a principal and teachers for its virtual school and enrolled 300 students. It is planning to move forward, optimistic that lawmakers will pass something in special session. It's not yet clear, though, when a special session will take place and if this is something they will tackle. In Plano, Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News.