CDC says everyone in schools should wear masks this fall

In its newest COVID-19 guidance this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends schools embrace universal masking to protect unvaccinated students and staff from the highly transmissible delta variant. The CDC also encourages everyone to mask up in public places in areas where transmission is high.

Even though cases and hospitalization rates are climbing in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said again this week that Texas school districts can not require mask use, leaving it up to individuals to decide whether to wear masks or not.
Will you be wearing a mask to school this fall?
Texas Legislature still in limbo

The legislature has been stalled since shortly after the beginning of the special session, when House Democrats left the state in order to block consideration of a controversial elections bill by breaking quorum. The Senate has addressed the full agenda for the session, but with no way to advance legislation in the House, activity at the Capitol has come to a standstill.

Legislative staff members could become casualties of the political standoff. In June, anticipating that Democratic legislators might continue to fight his priority issues during a special session, Gov. Abbott line-item-vetoed the section of the state budget that funds the legislative branch. The idea was to force legislators to meet to restore the funding before the new fiscal year begins. Without action by the legislature, the veto will go into effect on Sept. 1.

While pay for legislators themselves is protected by the Texas Constitution, more than 2,100 legislative aides and staff of related entities such as the Legislative Council and the Legislative Budget Board will not be paid by the state after Sept. 1 if no action is taken during the special session.
Join our legal session Aug. 21

Members are invited to join TCTA's staff attorneys at 10 a.m. Aug. 21 for the next Saturday Spotlight. They will review current legal issues and save time for your questions. Click here to register.
Student sues, claims teacher retaliated after she refused to say, write Pledge of Allegiance

A student sued her former sociology teacher, alleging that he violated her First Amendment rights by attempting to compel her to write the Pledge of Allegiance and by retaliating against her when she refused. 

The principal held a meeting with the student's teachers and instructed them that the student was not required to recite the pledge. Despite this, her sociology teacher gave the class an assignment to write the words of the pledge. The student refused to complete the assignment. The next day, the teacher told the class that anyone who did not complete the assignment would receive a zero and engaged in a long speech to the class about what he viewed as the "decline of American values." Click here to read more.
Parents have more choices
to support student learning

With the passage of SB 1697, parents now have the ability to determine whether their children repeat a course or grade. TEA has compiled resources to support parents as they make decisions and encourages them to act quickly to meet district deadlines ahead of the new school year.
H-E-B offers teachers 15% off school supplies

H-E-B is giving Texas teachers 15% off school and office supplies and select household items through Aug. 27. To get your in-store coupon, click here and sign up by Aug. 23.

Texans can save even more on most school supplies and clothing priced under $100 during the tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8. Click here for more information.

State Board of Education recognizes student heroes

Organizing a livestock show for kids with special needs, creating and hosting STEM literacy camps and webinars, showcasing artwork to raise funds for sensory classroom equipment, publishing a book to encourage perseverance and discipline, and creating “Kindness Projects” that impacted more than 50,000 people are just some of the ways the 15 students selected to receive the State Board of Education’s Student Heroes Award helped their classmates and communities this year. The students were honored during the board's July meeting. Click here to read more about them.
Renew your TCTA membership!

Don't wait until the school year starts to renew your TCTA membership for 2021-22. Renew now!
Invite your colleagues to join TCTA and earn $25 for every two eligible first-time active members you recruit through our Take 2/Make $25 program.
  • TCTA's final summer training workshop is July 30.
  • Aug. 6-8 is Texas' tax-free weekend for school supplies and clothes.
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