In just one month, Texas schools are still on track to re-open with face-to-face instruction, despite growing coronavirus case counts state-wide. Lauren Smith, President of the Lubbock Educators Association says the situation is changing rapidly.
“Things are very different from 4 weeks ago when we started putting plans in place. We have to be honest with what we can do, but we also have to keep our people safe as much as possible,” she said.
Last week, the Texas School Alliance, which represents 40 of the largest districts in the state including Lubbock ISD, penned a letter to the governor and Commissioner Mike Morath.
In it, they ask for school funding to be protected even if in-person attendance is low due to COVID-19.
“I worry if they do take away funding or reduce funding, because this and this and this is not met, I worry that that’s really going to impact our communities, and our students and our families,” Smith said.
Lack of funding could mean budget cuts and job insecurity for educators.
“I think that teachers really stepped up to the plate in the Spring and I think that maybe that’s kind of being forgotten a little bit,” Smith said.
On Monday summer school starts for Lubbock ISD.
Smith, who is also a second grade teacher at Whiteside Elementary, will be back in the classroom for the first time since mid-March.
“I’m so excited to see these students, I know that a teacher’s influence is very impactful on reading, and writing and math and all those things,” she said. She’s expecting only about 8 students.”It’s going to be really a really telling trial run to say, okay ‘this worked’ and ‘this absolutely did not work,'” she said.
The letter from the Alliance also highly encourages the state to allow districts to offer online-only classes at the start of the school year. The first day of school for Lubbock ISD is scheduled for August 17.
This story was originally published by FOX34.