x
Breaking News
More () »

Austin's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Austin, Texas | KVUE.com

Texas State Teachers Association asks State to extend virtual learning option

After getting thousands of reports of violations from TSTA members, the association is asking the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to reconsider guidelines.

AUSTIN, Texas — In-person classes will resume for some students at Austin ISD next week but, already, teachers are complaining about schools not doing enough to keep everyone safe. 

Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina said they want the state to be consistent with their guidelines during this health emergency. 

"We're fighting for our students and their families' lives. We're fighting for a community," said Molina. 

TSTA wants the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to allow virtual learning for the remainder of the fall semester without a funding penalty. As of right now, the TEA requires school districts to open buildings for in-person learning, unless a school board submits a waiver for additional distance learning. 

If schools don't reopen, that could put funding in jeopardy, but Molina said they'll keep fighting to change those guidelines. 

"It should be a community-based decision, not based on whether we're going to get the funding or whether we're going to have cuts in funding because we're trying to keep our students and our staff safe," said Molina. 

"So far, more than 700 TSTA members have reported more than 4,000 violations of COVID safety standards or recommended employee policies in more than 140 school districts throughout the state, risking the health of students, school employees and their families," said the TSTA in a press release.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of violations reported in several categories, according to TSTA findings:

  • Non-compliance with mask mandate – 246
  • Inadequate classroom social distancing – 385
  • Inadequate ventilation or ventilation equipment – 401
  • Inadequate protective supplies (masks, etc.) – 357
  • Inadequate access to cleaning/sanitation supplies – 243
  • Insufficient accommodations for high-risk school employees or family members – 435
  • Lack of school quarantine space or process – 247
  • Inadequate or inequitable availability of distance-learning resources for students – 238
  • Inadequate district sick leave policies – 337
  • Inadequate mitigation policies for lunch or transportation – 255
  • Lack of health/safety policy enforcement – 268
  • Insufficient staffing for new measures and protocols – 370

"In Austin, we received the most complaints about Pflugerville and Austin ISD, where we have a significant number of members," a spokesperson for the TSTA said. 

Below are local complaints by district:

Austin ISD

  • Non-compliance with mask mandates – 4 
  • Inadequate classroom social distancing] – 6 
  • Inadequate ventilation or ventilation equipment – 11 
  • Inadequate protective supplies (masks, face shields, plexiglass, ventilation, etc.) – 6 
  • Inadequate access to cleaning/sanitation supplies – 5 
  • Insufficient accommodations for high-risk school employees or family members – 12 
  • Lack of school quarantine space or process – 4 
  • Inadequate or inequitable availability of distance-learning resources or support for students – 4  
  • Inadequate district sick leave policies – 12 
  • Inadequate mitigation policies for lunch or transportation – 2 
  • Lack of health/safety policy enforcement – 4 
  • Insufficient staffing for new measures and protocols – 13

Pflugerville ISD

  • Inadequate protective supplies (masks, face shields, plexiglass, ventilation, etc.) – 31 
  • Inadequate access to cleaning/sanitation supplies – 22 
  • Insufficient accommodations for high-risk school employees or family members – 31 
  • Lack of school quarantine space or process – 22 
  • Inadequate or inequitable availability of distance-learning resources or support for students – 16  
  • Inadequate district sick leave policies – 32 
  • Inadequate mitigation policies for lunch or transportation – 28
  • Lack of health/safety policy enforcement – 22
  • Insufficient staffing for new measures and protocols – 32

Bastrop ISD

  • Non-compliance with mask mandates – 5 
  • Inadequate classroom social distancing – 4 
  • Inadequate ventilation or ventilation equipment – 2 
  • Inadequate protective supplies (masks, face shields, plexiglass, ventilation, etc.) – 4 
  • Inadequate access to cleaning/sanitation supplies – 2 
  • Insufficient accommodations for high-risk school employees or family members – 4 
  • Lack of school quarantine space or process – 3 
  • Inadequate or inequitable availability of distance-learning resources or support for students – 2  
  • Inadequate district sick leave policies – 3 
  • Inadequate mitigation policies for lunch or transportation – 2 
  • Lack of health/safety policy enforcement – 2 
  • Insufficient staffing for new measures and protocols – 2

Leander ISD

  • Non-compliance with mask mandates – 1 
  • Inadequate classroom social distancing – 4 
  • Inadequate ventilation or ventilation equipment – 4 
  • Inadequate protective supplies (masks, face shields, plexiglass, ventilation, etc.) – 4 
  • Inadequate access to cleaning/sanitation supplies – 1 
  • Insufficient accommodations for high-risk school employees or family members – 4 
  • Lack of school quarantine space or process – 0 
  • Inadequate or inequitable availability of distance-learning resources or support for students – 1  
  • Inadequate district sick leave policies – 3 
  • Inadequate mitigation policies for lunch or transportation – 1 
  • Lack of health/safety policy enforcement – 0 
  • Insufficient staffing for new measures and protocols – 1

"You haven't done enough to completely reassure our educators that we are going to be safe and that we are going to get through this. That's the message that we want to continue to give the governor," said Molina. "We want to make sure that nobody gets sick, that nobody dies because we rushed into in-person learning."

PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING:

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody indicted on charge related to Javier Ambler case

3 injured in plane crash near Lago Vista

NY Times: Trump paid $750 in US income taxes in 2016, 2017