“An Impossible Situation”

Why Texas Educators Are Struggling to Serve Students During COVID-19—and Pathways State and District Leaders Can Follow to Correct the Course

Overview

ATPE has conducted multiple surveys to as­sess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Texas educators. These surveys offer indications of paths state and dis­trict leaders can take to increase the number of educators who feel safe on campus and thus ensure the most effec­tive teaching and learning environment. The state must provide the resources for districts to effectively imple­ment policies such as mask-wearing and physical distanc­ing, hire additional staff to reduce class sizes and teacher workloads, and ensure educators have adequate planning time. Additionally, the state must recognize and meet the long-term need to remediate students who have fallen behind due to the pandemic by providing ample state re­sources and support for educators to accomplish this task.

Read the analysis.

Survey Results

View ATPE's COVID-19 survey results below. To navigate between pages, hover over the bottom left corner of the report and click the left/right arrows. To view in a new window, click "Google Data Studio" in the bottom right corner of the report.
 


ATPE Recommendations Drawn from Our Research

  1. Educators should be included in school districts’ COVID-19 planning.
  2. Districts should be transparent and consistent about COVID-19 policies and their enforcement across all school programs, including maintaining a confidential, trustworthy line of communication between employees and district leaders.
  3. Class sizes should be limited to enhance the effectiveness of physical distancing in mitigating the spread of the virus.
  4. The state should ensure districts have adequate cleaning supplies and PPE.
  5. The state should provide resources, such as funding for substitute teachers, custodial staff, and additional teachers, to ensure districts can accommodate increased staffing needs to relieve educators from extra duties, both during the pandemic and after when students have increased learning needs.
  6. Districts should ensure educators who need medical accommodations are being appropriately served under applicable federal law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  7. The state should not tie district funding to a requirement for in-person instruction and should instead allow districts to make the best decisions for their communities.
  8. Educators’ mental health must be prioritized through all policy decisions, including providing funding that affects staffing levels and the ability of districts to allow educators to focus on a reasonable workload.
  9. To reduce the risk of viral spread and alleviate fears of exposure, the state should reconsider current standardized testing requirements that will increase the number of students required to be on campus for testing days.
 

Connect with ATPE

Educators’ voices must continually be included in decision-making processes at every level. Below are some ATPE resources to help you stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 developments impacting Texas public education and tools to help you add your voice to ATPE's advocacy efforts:

Media inquiries: Please contact ATPE Public Relations at pr@atpe.org