BREAKING: Governor Abbott suspends STAAR exam for 2019-2020

By Gaige Davila

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has cancelled the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam for the 2019-2020 school year.

Abbott waived the state testing requirement in response to growing concern of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As of March 16, there are 68 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.

“Your health and safety are top priorities, and the state of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculty, and their families,” Abbott said in a March 16 media release.

For Port Isabel Independent School District (PI-ISD) students, STAAR exams were scheduled April 7 and 8, May 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14, with alternate testing dates in June.

“It has become apparent that schools will be unable to administer STAAR as they would normally,” Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath said in March 16 statement.

Governor Abbott’s office says the governor and the TEA are working “to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19.”

The PRESS has contacted PI-ISD superintendent Theresa Alarcon for comment.

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