When the Fort Worth school district made the seemingly bizarre decision to close down for a week even though they hadn't experienced a single confirmed case of swine flu, there were some rumblings that FWISD officials were more concerned about budgets than parents.
Parents might have to spend a week scrambling for child care, but FWISD would not need to worry about any ADA money.
And ADA money is very, very important to schools. It's got nothing to do with the Americans with Disabilities Act; the acronym stands for "average daily attendance." Much state and other funding depends on ADA, both at the school and district level.
Better to close schools completely, parents be damned, then risk seeing low attendance harm the ADA, rumors went. Maybe other districts would do the same.
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Like a lot of swine-flu rumors, it's apparently not true. The Texas Education Agency tells Hair Balls they are taking the flu into account in terms of ADA.
Waivers will be given out.
"The waiver would apply for both missed instructional days and low attendance," TEA Spokeswoman Suzanne Marchman told Hair Balls. The TEA has set up a page devoted to swine flu concerns, including a link to waivers so that superintendents can submit them ASAP.
As to what Fort Worth was thinking, that's still up in the air. The air in Crazy Land.