The Texas Education Agency this week announced that it would take the lead in acquiring and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to districts for the start of the next school year. It’s also expected that TEA will release guidance on reopening campuses next week, likely expanding on what was already released for summer school operations.
We will be scrutinizing this guidance carefully, as we realize the deep concern school employees, parents, and students have about returning to campuses. AFT already has released its own detailed reopening plan and guidance on safety, logistical issues, and stakeholder involvement.
TEA is still working on the logistics of the PPE distribution, which will be tied to the number of students and staff members in each district, but the agency notes that the PPE should arrive at districts between mid-July and early August. Distributed will be disposable and reusable masks, gloves, thermometers, hand sanitizers, face shields, and desk dividers.
We’re hopeful that this bold and much-needed initiative will be implemented properly, particularly since many districts are now altering their calendars to start in early August.