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President Biden encouraging, but not mandating, vaccine requirements in schools

After the President released his plan regarding vaccine mandates, KVUE got reaction from a Texas teachers association.

AUSTIN, Texas — President Joe Biden is encouraging, but not mandating, vaccine requirements in all schools.

However, part of his plan includes requiring staff in Head Start pre-K programs to get vaccinated. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' website, there are more than 1,200 Head Start locations in Texas. 

KVUE spoke with the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) about the mandate. ATPE said it has about 100,000 members, from all across the state. It said most members are classroom teachers.

"There are mixed views on the idea of a vaccine requirement among our members," said Mark Wiggins, a lobbyist for ATPE. "But around 80% of our members have already followed the advice of health care experts and gotten vaccinated. And I think that shows that educators understand what it's going to take to get our schools back up and running in a safe way."

Wiggins said ATPE supports getting students back in the classrooms. 

"We've been consistent from day one. We support local school districts decision to make the health care decisions based upon the individual needs of their communities, whether that applies to masks, to vaccines or anything else," said Wiggins. "We believe that local communities are best positioned to understand their own needs and to put into practice policies that will keep our students and our school staff safe." 

Wiggins also said their attorneys are looking at how the rule could impact school district employees.


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