TEA accidentally publishes fall reopening guidelines, educators say “more work needs to be done”

TEA accidentally publishes fall reopening guidelines, educators say “more work needs to be done”
Texas Education Agency fall 2020 guidelines accidentally made public (Source: KAUZ)

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - A draft of the Texas Education Agency’s guidelines for fall reopening was accidentally made public.

Despite those guidelines being taken down, the message has people concerned.

Officials with Texas educator groups said the Texas Education Agency needs to be more aggressive before the actual guidelines are released.

“Frankly, more work needs to be done,” said Monty Exter, a senior lobbyist for the Association of Texas Professional Educators.

The Texas Education Agency’s public health planning guide for the next school year originally put control in the hands of districts.

It said schools: should screen students weekly before they come on campus, should attempt to have hand sanitizing and washing stations at each school entrance, and consider placing desks six feet apart. Masks would only be required for teachers and staff. Temperature checks for those asymptomatic were not recommended.

“In some respects, while we would like for the state to give teachers and districts guidance in an expedient fashion,” said Exter, “we’re glad that the draft put up yesterday is not the final product.”

Governor Greg Abbott said district flexibility will be key moving into the next school year.

“It’s going to be the local education leaders who know best about what to put into place,” Governor Abbott said.

Superintendent Ted West with Electra ISD said while flexibility is important across the state, exact things, such as the number of students allowed in a classroom, are necessary.

“An exact number of what the guidelines would call for is critically for our planning,” West said.

TEA said it will have new, more permanent guidelines in the coming weeks, but with less than two months until school is expected to be back in session...

“Time is getting short,” said Exter.

“The clock is ticking,” added West, “and the situations are always changing.”

TEA released the following statement:

As we continue to closely monitor the public health situation, we are, in fact, still soliciting feedback on the public health guidance. Additional guidance will be provided soon. We will continue to prioritize public health and safety above all else.
Texas Education Agency

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