With COVID cases surging across the nation, Central Texas parents Julie and Brandon Bonneau are homeschooling their kids.
“I think sending them back into a school where majority the kids are not wearing mask ... it’s just asking for people to start getting COVID,” said Brandon.
Julie said it is tough being a mom and teacher, all while being a full-time student herself, but she feels home-school is the better choice since schools in Central Texas are not offering virtual learning or mandating masks.
“I feel that it’s not fair," said Julie. "I want to protect my kids and myself and my other family members, this is the choice I had to make.”
The Bonneau family feels backed into a corner and said local school districts are not fully protecting their kids.
“How could someone value money ... and sacrifice the safety of children,” said Brandon.
“It’s just kind of a wait-and-see and we don’t wanna rock the boat," said Julie. "Sometimes the boat needs to be rocked.”
The Texas House Committee passed a bill that would pay for virtual learning until September 2023 and give local school districts and charter schools the autonomy to set up their own virtual learning programs. Local teacher and parent Jennifer Lee said it’s needed.
“There were plenty of teachers that were excited about the possibility [of] virtual classes and really scratching their skill set,” said Lee.
She also said while the majority of kids excel in the classroom others also do well online.
“They were able to be in environment where they really didn’t have distractions, they could focus and kind of take care of business and be free for the rest of the day,” said Lee.
Kids under 12 are not able to get the vaccine yet, that is why some local families are hoping the legislation becomes law and gives them another educational option.
Belton and Killeen ISD right now are not offering virtual learning, but they are looking into ways to provide that for families.