CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Several school districts in the Coastal Bend made the decision to close schools this week in an effort to hinder the spread of COVID-19.

The decision has left many parents scrambling, trying to figure out how they can make this work with their job and wondering just how long this will last.

Attorney Amie Augenstein with the Gale Law Group said the State of Texas does not mandate employers to have a paid time off policy. If you find yourself in a bind with your employer because you or your child is sick, she recommends calling the Texas Workforce Commission.

As for how long schools will be closed, officials are still deciding the best way to handle this. Right now schools in our area are closed until March 23, but that could be extended, possibly through the end of the school year.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told school superintendents and lawmakers to be prepared for long-term school district closures just last night. This could last through the end of the school year, especially in areas where the coronavirus has spread.

Ultimately, this will be up to each individual superintendent. Morath is advising superintendents to tell parents sooner rather than later.

The State has already said school districts with prolonged closures may avoid financial penalties as long as they can prove they are teaching students remotely, but many students lack access to consistent internet at home.

If you find yourself in that situation, help is available. Charter Spectrum is offering households with kindergarten through 12th grade students free broadband internet for 60 days.

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