Dallas superintendent wants teachers to return to classrooms this fall, with or without students

Superintendent on working to appease both sides of the school reopening debate

Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa opens up about challenges of reopening schools.

Teachers should return to their classrooms in the fall, with or without their students, the superintendent of schools in Dallas told "The Story" Wednesday.

Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa argued that while it is "unprofessional" for teachers to conduct their virtual lessons from home, his push to have teachers return to their classrooms for the new school year has received little support among educators in his district.

"It is unprofessional to have your dogs bark while you are trying to teach a lesson to students," Hinojosa said. "We had a difficult struggle enforcing that expectation … so we had to back down off of that one, but we’re continuing to press forward. We need students back in the building whenever possible."

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow across Texas, teachers are growing increasingly hesitant over whether or not to return to their classrooms for the fall, Hinojosa said.

"When we asked teachers who was coming back, 90% said they would come back in person, but when we had a spike in Texas, that went down to 60%," he said. "We're only down to two-thirds of them … half of our parents want to come back, but we need to have our teachers there to execute in-person instruction."

The superintendent added he was forced to push the date for reopening to Sept. 8 from Aug. 17 in light of the recent surge.

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Hinojosa said he plans to convene the school board on Thursday in the hopes of finding a solution.

"We are trying to work with everybody," he emphasized, "but this is a no-win situation for everybody if we don’t get a solution, too."

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