Texas AG says schools trump health officials on class start

Texas
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Graphic. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)

By JIM VERTUNO

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ attorney general says local health officials don’t have the authority to shut down schools solely to prevent a future spread of the coronavirus. Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that such a decision rests solely with school officials. Paxton issued his “legal guidance” amid a fierce debate in Texas among local governments, health officials, parents and teachers as to how and when to open school. Texas has seen new cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge over the month of July. In Dallas, health officials have prohibited in-person classes until at least Sept. 8. Similar orders are in place in Houston.