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What Will the School Year Hold for Texas Teachers During a Pandemic?

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The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) traded in its annual summit for a virtual one. Members and representatives of Texas’ largest educator association met virtually from July 6-10, 2020. According to ATPE President Tonja Gray, the purpose of the summit is mainly to train volunteers on how to more effectively run their local chapters and network with other chapters. What will Texas teachers face during a pandemic? 

The ATPE boasts over 100,000 members statewide. This year’s virtual summit had a special focus. In addition to regular training, networking, and electing of officers, the summit included special sessions about COVID-19. The ATPE has released their recommendations in regard to the pandemic.

What Will the School Year Hold for Texas Teachers During a Pandemic?

Photo: @rubypeanut via Twenty20

At the time of this reporting, Governor Greg Abbott has left the recommendations in response to schooling to the Texas Education Agency. The TEA itself has issued no specific mandates on how schools should operate in the wake of the current pandemic. Yet, TEA has issued that regularly-scheduled standardized testing will continue for the 2020-2021 school year.

As educators across the state are looking at the prospect of returning to work in the coming weeks, some are feeling anxious about the safety of the work environment. Some of ATPE’s long-standing members have decided to take early retirements, over health concerns.  In response to its members’ grievances, ATPE drafted a list of recommendations for school districts. The list was submitted to the Governor’s office and to TEA.

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