The Pressure Mounts On Gov Abbott To Rethink Call To Open Schools Next Month

Chris Fox
July 07, 2020 - 3:10 pm
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    AUSTIN (1080 KRLD)- Texas Teachers are calling for Governor Abbott to slow down on his call to reopen public school campuses in the Fall semester due to the recent surge in positive COVID-19 tests in Texas. Clay Robison of the Texas State Teachers Association says they want to see schools reopen, but they must reopen safely. “We fear that the state is going to push schools into reopening earlier than it is safe for them to reopen. We want to make sure that we're still not in the middle of the pandemic when the schools reopened.”

    Texas State Teachers Association President Noel Candelaria released the following statement:

    “Texas obviously has not seen the end of this pandemic, and no one knows what August, the normal start of the fall semester, will bring. Regardless of the date, no school must reopen until the pandemic has clearly begun to subside and strict safety standards are in place for that campus, including required mask use for students, employees and visitors; regular testing of everyone entering the school for COVID symptoms; and strict social distancing in classrooms and other locations.”

    “We are asking the governor to clarify whether the order for face coverings he issued last week applies to school campuses. If not, the order must be amended to include schools and the age limit exception removed for schools. Teachers must be given the authority to decide whether children younger than 10 in their classes must wear masks.”

    “Teachers and students who fear it is too risky for their health to return to campuses must be allowed to teach and learn remotely and be provided with the resources they need.”

    The TSTA has compiled COVID safety standards they believe schools should be required to abide by in order to reopen:

    https://tsta.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/TSTAstandardsForSafeSchools.pdf

    A recent University of Texas poll backs up the position of the TSTA. According to Jim Henson, the head of the Texas Politics Project at UT a majority of Texas voters aren’t comfortable reopening Texas schools as the pandemic grows. “65% said they thought this would be unsafe, and the division here was not whether you are worried about your kids or you didn't have kids because there was no difference in the responses between people that had kids in the house and people that didn't.”