What do you think about masking policies in schools? Should we have a virtual learning option this school year? Tell us what you think…
Take our very quick four-question poll, and share your thoughts on two important questions educators are talking about right now–masks in schools and having a virtual learning option.
Take Our Poll >> Click Here
Texas AFT is conducting our quick poll to better understand where people are at on these topics. It is important that we are listening to each other and coming up with collective solutions that will make meaningful change. Since the start of the pandemic, Texas AFT has been front and center advocating for safety policies and procedures to protect employees and students. Now is the time to continue our conversation and share how we feel as we move forward to the 2021-22 academic year.
Take Our Poll >> Click Here
Individual poll results will be kept confidential. This is an internal poll provided to members of the Texas American Federation of Teachers (Texas AFT). For questions, contact us at 1-800-222-3827.
March 3, 2021
The Texas Education Agency this afternoon released new guidance on masks in response to the governor’s actions lifting the statewide mask mandate yesterday. TEA is leaving in place its mask requirements while allowing local school boards to override them and decide if masks should be mandatory. I predict that this will lead to harmful, divisive local battles—which is unfortunate because even with vaccinations on the rise, health officials are still stressing the use of masks as one of the most effective tools we have to stop the spread.
I’m encouraging our union family to continue to fight for safety measures like masks, social distancing, and districts providing health-compromised employees with accommodations to stay remote. In the race to normalcy, Gov. Abbott jumped the gun with his dangerous removal of the statewide mask mandate yesterday, a move that appears to be politically motivated to shift attention away from the controversies over the state’s power outages. His callous disregard of school employees continues.
But let’s take a moment to celebrate the leadership from the Biden administration in doing the right thing and prioritizing school employees. We all want to get back to our schools to teach in person without fearing the dire consequences of a serious infection. While this is only one piece to that end, it certainly is to be commended.
I encourage all of you to make safety a priority and work to get a vaccination appointment. We will continue to update you as more information is released.
Zeph Capo, Texas AFT President
Note that under the federal directive: “Teachers, school staff, and child care workers are defined as: those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.”
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