During the January 26 school board meeting of the Fort Worth Independent School District, updates were given on how the coronavirus is affecting district students and the difficulty of finding enough substitute teachers. 

FWISD’s current enrollment as of January 22 is more than 77,000 students, down from 82,704 in 2019-2020. According to Deputy Superintendent Karen Molinar, from October 2020 to January 2021, out of the nearly 40,000 students who attended in-person classes, 9,497 students tested positive for the virus.

FWISD Board Trustee C. J. Evans asked Molinar if the “numbers are lower in the schools than in the general population.”

“You are correct, Ms. Evans,” Molinar replied. 

Evans followed up by asking if schools are super-spreader locations.

“Not at all,” replied Molinar.

Molinar added that nearly 5,000 employees tested positive in the aforementioned time frame, and only half of the substitute teachers needed were able to be secured. The need for substitute teachers skyrocketed from last year, when the rate of teachers receiving coverage was 77 percent.

If you have information or concerns regarding the accuracy of school district reporting on coronavirus cases, please contact us at tcollum@texasscorecard.com

Tera Collum

Tera Collum has 13 years experience as a government and economics teacher in Texas public schools. She recently was the director of The Travis Institute of Educational Policy and Teachers for Texas.


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