The Texas Education Agency (TEA) was expected to announce formal health and safety guidance for reopening this week. Instead, school administrators, educators, and parents were left wondering about how schools would be reopening in the fall.
In a conference call with school superintendents, Education Commissioner Mike Morath indicated that the health and safety guidelines were still in draft, and the changing public health situation made it difficult to provide final guidance for on-campus instruction.
Decisions about reopening school buildings for in-school learning can’t be made in a vacuum. Those in power should listen to health professionals as well as educators and key members of the community across Texas because that’s the best course for students, educators and school staff. The AFT five-point plan includes recommendations for social distancing, testing, tracing and isolating cases, using masks and other PPE to avoid spreading the virus.