State senator calls on education commissioner to allow more remote teaching, earlier vaccinations for school employees

Sen. José Menéndez, right, speaks on the state Senate floor last week

Earlier this week, Sen. José Menéndez sent a letter to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath regarding the unique challenges school districts and personnel have been facing during the pandemic. 

In his letter, Sen. Menéndez urged Commissioner Morath to allow school districts to have flexibility in letting personnel work from home, given the surge in COVID-19 cases across the state. He also highlighted how vital school personnel are to our education system and our state. School employees’ commitment to providing excellent education for students and the high likelihood of transmission in in-person classes makes them high priority candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine, the letter states. This letter urges the same prioritization of school personnel that  Texas AFT members have advocated for throughout the pandemic.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also sent a letter to the person in charge of vaccination allocation in Texas asking her to reconfigure the different subgroups for vaccine prioritization. Patrick suggested adding more subgroups to provide those seeking a vaccine with a clearer estimate of when the vaccine will be available to them. In his open letter, Lt. Gov. Patrick suggests that teachers and school staff that are 65 and older should be given higher priority in comparison to the general population of those 65 and older.