Texas lawmakers calling for STAAR test to be canceled

HISD cancels classes until March 30; More than 30 other school districts announce closures

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is calling for the state to cancel the upcoming April STAAR test — as more public school districts suspend classes in the wake of heightened concern over coronavirus.

State Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, sent a letter to the governor Friday asking that “any and all requirements and mandates related to the provision of the 2020 STAAR test” be canceled, since area school districts have “substantially limited” classroom instruction.

The federal government is already considering waivers from testing requirements for areas heavily impacted by the COVID-19 disease. The state is expected to provide more guidance on the issue next week.

Student at UT-Arlington tests positive for COVID-19

[9:30 a.m.] A student at the University of Texas at Arlington tested positive for the new coronavirus, President Vistasp Karbhari said in a letter to students, faculty and staff.

"We care deeply about the health and well-being of our Maverick family, especially as we address the emerging challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus," he said. "The University is working closely with Tarrant County health officials and assisting in identifying individuals who may have had contact with the individual."

The school announced last week it was extending spring break and switching to online classes "until further notice" beginning on March 23. — Rebekah Allen

Some Texas Republicans vote against U.S. House bill to provide free coronavirus testing

[8:00 a.m.] The U.S House overwhelmingly passed a measure early Saturday morning that aimed to mitigate the spread and economic impact of the new coronavirus.

The final tally was 363-40 on a package that included free testing for the virus, expanded food aid and expanded sick leave benefits for workers.