After months of working to shield classroom instruction from budget-cutting frenzies, school districts in Texas will have to start classes in August without new textbooks.
The Texas Education Agency confirmed late last week that an ongoing reconfiguration of its online ordering system coupled with a delay in state funding for textbooks will postpone the arrival of new books beyond the start of school the week of Aug. 24 and likely into September.
The new system will eventually ease book buying, state officials said.
But for now, many local school leaders are steamed.
"Our students need instructional materials on the first day of school," Arlington school board member Jamie Sullins said after a Thursday night meeting at which the board learned of the delay. "There are no instructional days that we can forfeit."
Others noted that the new textbooks reflect the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, which in the spring will replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, the testing standard since 2003.
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