The Texas Education Agency on Tuesday released its “SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance”—a combination of rules and recommendations for returning to campuses. Our response was quick and assertive:
“TEA leadership is acting intentionally or recklessly with gross negligence by issuing guidance that does not take into account the fact that much of Texas is experiencing substantial community spread,” said Zeph Capo, Texas AFT president. “Under such circumstances, the CDC recommends extended school dismissals. Our students and teachers deserve a state agency that places their safety above all else.”
The “reckless” and “gross negligence” was TEA’s continuing assertion that returning to campuses while Texas is experiencing record numbers of infections and hospitalizations will be “safe.” However, you should be educated on the entirety of the document so you can address issues locally, and we’ve boiled down some key items to pay attention to.
Two days later, Texas AFT Attorney Martha Owen joined our president, Zeph Capo, staff members, and thousands of viewers yesterday for a webinar looking at issues to consider for using the Americans with Disability Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and retirement when considering options for returning to campuses for the school year.
The presentation also included a good summary of Texas AFT’s stance on reopening issues, along with answers to questions on the 45-day rule for resigning, waivers you may be asked to sign, and more—as well as how to contact our union for assistance.
Missed it? You can find recordings and accompanying documents here. In addition to the issues covered in the webinar, we will be combing through questions posed in comments and posting as many responses as possible.