Houston Teachers Union Calls For Virtual Start to School Year Amid Pandemic

The union representing Houston teachers is calling for a virtual start to the school year until the number of new COVID-19 cases drops.

Members of the Houston Federation of Teachers are asking Houston ISD and the Texas Governor to do more to make sure students, teachers, and staff are kept safe this fall. Texas teachers say they will not be bullied into re-opening schools “pre-maturely and dangerously”.

“The new school year is supposed to start in six weeks, and the Houston Independent School District is in no way, shape or form prepared,” said Andy Dewey, Executive vice president of HFT.

Dewey says there should be a gradual, phased approach to returning to in-person classes that gives priority to vulnerable and special needs students. The union has laid out a number of recommendations, including providing funding for additional cleaning products across the district.

“We are calling for a nurse in every school and not only more custodial staff, but hazard pay for custodial staff and others who are at great risk of exposure,” Dewey added.

Leaders at HISD are scheduled to release the district's official back-to-school plan on Wednesday.

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