Schools closed for year, Board discusses effects

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

The Slaton Independent School District Board of Trustees met Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday (April 17) announced that the school year is officially over in classes. No campuses will reopen this year, affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This also impacted seniors in academics and athletic contests: UIL officially cancelled sports for the remaining year.

Interim Superintendent Gary Harrell discussed how the state was going to handle funding for the next year.

One of these is through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “School districts located on the gulf coast of Texas are very familiar with (FEMA) due to the frequent hurricanes they experience. However, Districts in this part of the state don’t have many occasions to request disaster relief funds from FEMA, outside of maybe an occasional devastating tornado,” he said.

“However, on March 13, 2020, when the President issued a nationwide emergency declaration for (COVID-19), everything changed. All school districts can now submit reimbursement requests to FEMA for certain extraordinary labor costs for hourly employees who are required to report to duty during a closure in order to perform disaster-related emergency work.”

However, Slaton is one of the many schools who hasn’t had to deal with FEMA, so they are having to adopt a policy in the event of another emergency declaration to get reimbursements for said funding.

“The SISD Board approved revisions to its DEA policy and a resolution concerning premium pay for certain hourly employees during disasters,” added Harrell.

For more information, please read the Thursday edition of The Slatonite.

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