TEXAS – Texas House legislators are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to reconsider mask mandates in schools and funding for virtual education due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state.
Rep. Vikki Goodwin sent a letter to the governor and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath on Friday after hearing concerns from parents who are “anxious about the Delta variant and the effects on their children,” she said on social media.
Thirty-one House Democrats signed Goodwin’s letter in support. You can read the full letter below:
“One of the crucial arenas for battling the coronavirus is the school. The academic year will be starting soon, and we have heard from school officials and parents in our districts that the path we are on is not acceptable to them,” Rep. Goodwin’s letter states. “To meet this challenge, schools must be given options that they currently do not have.”
Rep. Goodwin said in the letter that schools need to have “the ability to provide virtual instruction to those students who are at higher risk of contracting COVID.” Some students could be immunocompromised and can carry the virus home to other family members, Rep. Goodwin added.
Current vaccine guidelines prohibit any children under the age of 12 to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Rep. Goodwin said because of this, she and the other legislators are asking for mask mandates within school walls.
Gov. Abbott has already stated earlier this week that he will not impose another statewide mask mandate, saying “the reasons for that are very clear.”
“There are so many people who have immunities to COVID, whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it, which would be acquired immunity,” the governor said in an interview with KSAT’s sister station KPRC.
He added that it would be “inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask,” the Tribune reports.
The governor and the TEA commissioner have not yet responded to the letter. We’ll bring more updates as they become available.