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Dallas

Teachers Consider ‘Temporary' Early Retirement to Avoid In-Classroom Teaching

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Teacher union representatives from across Texas told reporters as much as they want to go back to the classroom, they won't, not unless the state forces school districts to follow procedures to keep them safe.

The union said many teachers are qualified to file for early retirement, subject to Texas' Employment after Retirement guidelines. Those same teachers could apply to go back to work after COVID-19 is more controlled.

Such a move could cripple schools, but teachers said they need to understand how social distancing will work.

"I've had as many as 34 kids in my classroom and I've already done the math. My classroom is not set up for more than 12 students at 6 feet apart," said Dallas teacher Kristen Derocha.

She was a strong advocate for going back to the classroom... was.

"The concerns are roaring back," she said.

COVID-19 updates are ever-changing. The Texas Education Agency told NBC 5 recommendations are coming. The governor's office said we could see them as early as this week.

"We want our parents to speak up we need our parents standing with us in making these decisions," said Zeph Capo, leader, American Federation of Teachers-Texas.

Teachers have until 45 days before the start of school to let the district know if they will retire this year. For most districts that deadline is sometime next month.

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