Abbott Faces Backlash From Teachers After Saying Reopening Schools Isn’t His Decision

Governor Greg Abbott
Photo credit Courtesy- Gov Greg Abbott's Office

TEXAS (1080 KRLD)- Comments by Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday about reopening schools during the pandemic has angered Texas teachers. Both the Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and the Texas State Teachers Association quickly responded after comments made by Governor Abbott during a San Antonio press conference about who has the power to open Texas schools.

“This is not my decision and no one is having to place trust or non-trust in me,” said Abbott. “Very important, the decision is made by local school boards and superintendents.”

Ovidia Molina, The President of the Texas State Teachers Association released the following statement:

“The governor says he is not responsible for making decisions about reopening schools, and it is the local school board that is responsible.  We couldn’t disagree more.  The governor needs to stop passing the buck to local school boards on when to reopen and should mandate no district start in-person instruction before Sept. 8 and then only when it is safe to do so.  The governor continues to ignore the fact that when schools do start, the Texas Education Agency will require districts to offer in-person instruction to students who request it, putting those students, school employees and families at risk. “

Zeph Capo, the President of the Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) took aim on both Governor Abbott and his Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. Capo accused the duo of abdicating responsibility of reopening in a pandemic to school districts while at the same time pressuring the districts to open. Capo said, “If the governor's office and the state didn't have any responsibility for it, then why are they threatening defunding school districts if they don't follow their edict?”

The AFT also posted a statement on their web site calling for Governor Abbott to do his job and get the virus under control. “The stakes are high, Gov. Abbott. We only have one chance to do this right. And you’re the one who has to make that happen.

If you don’t, governor — if you let districts barrel into immediate in-person instruction — here’s what will happen: Texans will die while they’re educating kids, and Texas educators and parents will lose all faith in your ability to keep us safe.

 

Right now, teachers, bus drivers and school employees are staring down the choice of protecting their own lives, along with those of their students and their families, OR keeping their livelihoods. You and your inaction have forced this issue, and the consequences will rest squarely on your shoulders.”