Governor Abbott - End 2019/2020 School Year

Governor Abbott - End 2019/2020 School Year

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Governor Abbott;

In light of COVID-19 and school closings we, the parents and residents of Texas, request you to officially end the 2019-2020 school year effective immediately. While this move will have impacts on those graduating and loved traditional activities, the benefits of starting summer vacation now will far outweigh the negatives. 

We present to you the following concerns if schools remain open via "Distance Learning":

1 - Local school districts have undertaken a tremendous effort in an attempt to take a school system from classroom to distance learning. Unfortunately the effort is inconsistent not only from school to school but even within grades at the same school. Systems/applications being used have not been properly vetted to ensure the children's safety (example: Zoom - allegedly sharing users' personal data with Facebook). The valent effort of our teacher's to quickly pivot is not without recognition, but with little time to react we have no idea where we are vulnerable with our children and their identities.

2 - It's well known not all students have access to internet, computers, printers, etc. Asking parents to distance learn when they do not have ample resources only imparts additional stress on the parent and children. Also parents who do have internet are experiencing issues related to bandwidth thus impeding efforts to complete assignment in a timely manner.

3 - Many parents are focused on maintaining jobs to provide for their families during these uncertain times. Requiring parents to become teachers is forcing parents to decide what is important - a child's Zoom meeting at 11am or the job which puts food on the table and healthcare within means. Yes, there are parents who are able to work from home, but schooling/working from home is not always feasible for effective business outcomes nor school outcomes. Then there are the parents who's work is required outside the home. These parents work all day only to come home and teach in the evenings. This is wearing down the workforce not only mentally but physically making us more prone to illness, fatigue and depression.

4 - Teachers are dealing with rule changes every week due to ever changing district requirements. This is causing undue stress upon the teachers to constantly evolve to meet the new demands. They have yet to be able to have one consistent week after another. Asking teachers to work late into the night and then turning around for morning class meetings/office hours is mentally and physically draining. This is recognized and felt by the children and parents alike.     

While we understand advancing to summer vacation won't be widely accepted, it will allow time for our school systems to properly layout a controlled system for distance learning should it be needed for the 2020-2021 year. We all want our children to succeed, but we need to ensure they have the proper environment and tools.

We look forward to the time when our children can return to school, but the reality coming into focus is it won't likely be May 4th let alone by our last calendar day of May 28th.   

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