Beware of the TEA’s extended transition period: Wrinkle surfaces on remote-only instruction

‘Some’ on-campus instruction?

While Public Health Guidance released Friday by the Texas Education Agency indicated School Boards could vote to renew their initial four-week transition period limiting on-campus instruction, a separate TEA document states the extended transition period must include “some” daily on-campus instruction

While the extension of the original three-week transition period to four weeks is a small step, we’re disappointed that any renewal of that period must include “some” daily campus instruction,  according to the “SY 20-21 Attendance and Enrollment FAQs.” That “some” remains undefined.

The standard remains that no state should restart face-to-face learning until a state enters Phase 2 of the Centers for Disease control “Opening Up America” plan. Texas has not even entered Phase 1 of the criteria, which requires a 14-day downward trajectory of new cases, much less Phase 2, which requires 14 additional days of decreasing case counts.

We’re disappointed that TEA continues to ignore science, putting us all at risk. We simply need a standard that follows the CDC.  However, the good news is that your elected school board still has the authority to change the first day of school. Even number FAQ #42 of the “SY 20-21 Attendance and Enrollment FAQs” says the power is in the hands of your local school board to delay the first day of instruction so long as the district meets 75,600 minutes of instruction and any attendant contractual issues. Texas AFT will continue to monitor all TEA guidance.