Texas Educators Critical Of Plans To Reopen Schools As Pandemic Surges

Chris Fox
July 08, 2020 - 6:10 am

    The Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is hoping the leaders of the 1,200 school districts in Texas opt to start the school year teaching students via remote instruction instead of reopening school campuses as called for by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. 

    The group didn’t appreciate early drafts of the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) guidance for reopening the schools, and they don’t like the latest version released on Tuesday either.

    Related: Texas Education Agency Releases Health Guidelines For Students To Return This Fall

    In a statement Texas AFT President Zeph Capo said, “Previously we said, “Hell No!” to Mike Morath and TEA about the necessity of returning students and teachers to campuses. The claim that it would be safe didn’t jive with what school employees and parents know about the dangers of COVID-19. That was before Texas started seeing a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases.” Capo added that he doesn’t think now’s the time for students to return to schools. “Much of the guidance released by TEA today appears to ignore the reality of the record number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the state.”

    The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) didn’t find the new TEA guidelines to be sufficient either.

    In a release they said the TEA’s nine-page document lists minimal requirements and recommendations for school districts to consider as they prepare to start the new school year.

    ATPE is frustrated that the TEA has not heeded their call to provide more explicit guidance, nor is the TEA requiring the involvement of educators and parents in developing COVID-19 protocols.