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East Texas superintendents, TEA commissioner meet for post-87th legislative summit

"This conference is about having our public school districts here in East Texas up to date," Longview ISD Superintendent James Wilcox said.

LONGVIEW, Texas — In the time of coronavirus, educating our children is more difficult than ever. 

Tuesday, education leaders across East Texas met in Longview for the Texas Public Schools Post 87th Legislative Summit to discuss solutions and new ideas.

"This conference is about having our public school districts here in East Texas up to date and better prepared to handle the things that we will face this year in educating your child," Longview Superintendent James Wilcox said. 

Most of the problems districts are dealing with are because of the pandemic.

Tyler ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford says at their district they're doing what they can to keep their schools open. This comes after the Tyler ISD school board voted down a mask mandate on Monday.

"Making sure we're staying safe, making sure we're keeping our schools open, that is is the priority of this year is to make sure we do that so we can have that deep understanding of the curriculum with our students and they can be successful," he said. 

Texas legislators just returned to Austin for a new special session on Monday so while some East Texas representatives could not attend the summit, Wilcox said this is the time East Texas can come together to share what is needed for our school districts. 

"Here in East Texas, we're not on the forefront on all the things that happen in Austin," Wilcox said. "So us having this local summit and inviting speakers in from across the state...it gives them insight on exactly what is going on."

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath spoke at the summit, however, he was not available for interviews. According to TEA media relations specialist Jake Kobersky, Commissioner Morath was on a tight schedule and had to catch plane out of town.