SAN ANTONIO – School districts in and around San Antonio are slated to open in the next couple of weeks despite the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases in the area.
President of San Antonio Alliance of Teacher and Support Personnel Alejandra Lopez joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss the reopening plan and how the organization is working with its members.
“At the moment, we are a part of a citywide coalition that is calling for the first nine weeks of the full year to be completely online. We feel strongly that while our city is in the red zone, no teachers or support personnel should be working on campus. It’s just really an unnecessary risk for our community at the moment,” Lopez said.
Most public districts are set to begin the school year online. Although teachers understand it’s not the same as in-person learning, it’s the best way to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“One is going to argue, certainly not me or any other teacher, is going to argue that virtual learning is a replacement for face-to-face learning... It’s not a choice just between face-to-face instruction and virtual learning. It’s a choice between virtual learning, which is going to keep our students, our teachers support staff safe and virtual and face-to-face learning, which is going to have an unnecessary risk attached to it, bringing students, teachers into potentially unsafe workplace,” Lopez said.
Lopez and her organization are now trying to fight for backpay for staff members who have worked through this pandemic so far.
“You know, our union from the very beginning has said that our frontline workers, our custodial staff and our food service staff who have been working since March providing meals to our students in our community. They’ve been working all summer to provide meals. Anyone who is having to report to work during this pandemic should be compensated fairly for that, and that is something that our union is continuing to push,” Lopez said.