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Dohn Larson, TCTA's director of legal services, reviews the laws regarding resignations and debunks several myths in our six-part video series. TCTA continues to urge the commissioner to issue guidance related to the circumstances under which an educator has good cause to abandon their contract so that teachers will be allowed to resign from their contracts if appropriate to avoid exposure to COVID-19.

TCTA staff and leadership are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on Texas schools. We've compiled answers to many of the questions our members are asking about COVID-19. The following FAQs also are available to non-members to help all educators navigate this unprecedented time. The FAQs are updated as new guidance emerges from federal, state and local officials.

Click here for our resources about teaching online. Click here for our summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides paid leave for employees. Click here for information about the CARES Act, which adds funds for education.

We encourage TCTA members with specific questions to call our Legal Department at 888-879-8282 for assistance. Members with general inquiries can submit them through the Ask-a-Lawyer portal.

Texans turned out in record numbers for the 2020 elections, but the “blue wave” that some had predicted failed to materialize. Once the results were in, drama began to erupt over the selection of a new House speaker.

A couple of weeks ago, we let you know about eight school systems that are taking part in a TEA pilot program for rapid COVID-19 testing. Participating are Fabens, Granger, Harlingen, Lampasas, Longview, and Ysleta school districts, and the Bob Hope School in Port Arthur and Grace Community School in Tyler.

Public school teachers could be among eligible service-providers

Gov. Greg Abbott and TEA announced this week that $30 million of federal CARES Act funding would be available to families of some students with disabilities to use for supplemental services to offset pandemic-related learning disruptions. 

TCTA gave invited testimony about reducing teacher training requirements to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday as a subgroup leader of a Teacher Workforce Workgroup convened by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. During a seven-month process, the workgroup conducted a thorough review of teacher training requirements and arrived at 35 recommendations to revise statute or TEA rule and establish fewer but more meaningful teacher requirements, enabling educators to more freely select training opportunities to improve their craft.

TEA is reminding those seeking elementary-level certificates that after Dec. 31, 2020, candidates must also pass the Science of Teaching Reading exam to earn certification.

Veteran teachers may be considering retirement this year, possibly earlier than they had planned. There are several points to be aware of if you are thinking about changing your retirement plans, including leaving mid-year.

The deadline to resign from a Chapter 21 contract has passed and educators are dealing with continuously changing patterns of COVID-19 risk, varying responses by school districts, and the risk of certification sanctions if they resign. As the school year progresses, we may see COVID-19 spikes and schools continuing to change procedures and protocols, leading teachers to be concerned about increased risks of contracting the coronavirus and potentially endangering other members of their households. Teachers considering resigning due to COVID-19 concerns should be aware of the laws and rules that govern resignations after the legal deadline.

TEA sent a communication to the field reminding districts to take advantage of its College Bridge program, which provides optional, online, alternative course options for college preparatory math and English, competency-based progression, and dashboards to monitor and adjust student progress.