HOUSTON – Texas teachers are urging Gov. Gregg Abbott to continue to keep schools closed until the end of the year to help districts prepare for the fall semester.
The Texas American Federation of Teachers thanked Abbott and his team for their efforts in responding to the coronavirus pandemic by closing Texas public schools, which protected students and staff from being further exposed to the virus. The AFT asked the governor to continue to protect the health and safety of Texans by officially closing all Texas public schools to in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year. ATF said this proposal will allow districts to make a better plan for a safe reopening in the fall.
Teachers expressed their concern with the reopening of schools in May, saying it could result in longer-term closures due to the further spread of the coronavirus. AFT President Zeph Capo said its members realize that the premature return of schools would threaten the health and safety of all on campus.
“Our members see their work as a calling. Throughout the past month, educators and support staff have gone beyond the call of duty. From our teachers changing to distance learning practically overnight to our food service workers feeding our communities, public-school employees have stepped up to the challenge presented by COVID-19,” Capo wrote in the letter to Abbott.
Capo said the threat of a school-wide outbreak is possible and all measures should be taken to ensure students and staff are safe.