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Will Texas Schools be Forced to Reopen


Eric Dick has Texas roots second to none. Being a direct descendant of the Tumlinson family, the “Come and Take It” cannon basically is his family crest. In 2016, he was overwhelmingly elected to Harris County Department of Education. He follows his family tradition in seeking justice by being a home insurance lawyer that represents policyholders with his or her denied or underpaid claims.

To everyone affected and that are suffering due to COVID-19, we pray that God’s healing hand may rest upon you. To medical doctors, nurses and the supporting staff in the frontline of the fight against this pandemic, may the Good Lord sustain you and inspire you to render your life-saving services with due care, love and compassion. To all those who have lost their loved ones due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we convey our deepest sympathies. We pray that their souls, through God’s mercy, may rest in eternal peace. This crisis is urgent, and we may feel powerless at times. But perhaps during our struggles, I encourage you to remain positive as we shelter inside our homes. Spend this time to connect safely with your friends, families and loved ones. Take a portion of your day and share a few moments with those whom we care about most. And when these overwhelming struggles cause us to feel small, let it remind us to pray. As prayer is how we actively practice believing so confidently that God has us all in his hands.

Eric Dick


Texas public school districts must reopen campuses for in-person instruction in August to continue receiving state funding, unless the governor issues a school closure order or a confirmed case of COVID-19 on an individual campus forces a brief shutdown of the building, Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced Tuesday.

The mandate ensures that families wanting in-person classes will have the option for children to return to campuses during the novel coronavirus pandemic, though students may continue learning from home if they choose. Districts can restrict the number of students who receive on-campus instruction for the first three weeks of their school year, a period designed to “facilitate an effective back-to-school transition process,” TEA officials said.

“On-campus instruction in Texas public schools is where it’s at,” Morath said during a conference call with superintendents. “We know that a lot of families are going to be nervous, and if they are nervous, we’re going to support them 100 percent.”

Note from Eric: Lately, I've have lost confidence in most of our state leaders. I hope TEA knows what they are doing because this could cause major problems - buses plus COVID-19 do not mix! Let me remind parents of their right to home school.


Teachers and students across the country await the systemic changes in the education system this upcoming school year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many teachers fear for the safety and well-being of their students and themselves.

“I’m afraid for my life if we have to return to in-person teaching with the case rates this high,” said a local Houston special education teacher. This teacher is not alone - many educators across the country echo her concerns. With the latest announcements coming from entities like the Texas Education Agency, these fears have a potential to become reality.

We need schools to open. Education is the backbone of our country. However, the traditional brick-and-mortar style of education cannot continue in the midst of a surging global pandemic. We must push for temporary remote education opportunities that are accommodating to both teachers and students.

Sign the petition below to show support for safe education opportunities for the 2020-2021 school year.


Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who launched his political career on conservative talk radio, received a government small business loan for his Houston broadcasting company as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy, according to federal data released Monday.

Patrick Broadcasting received a loan of $179,000 from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to Patrick spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester. She said the money was sought due to a decline in advertising sales and was to cover the payroll and expenses of 13 employees.

“The loan did not cover his salary, but he was able to save the jobs of all his employees, many of whom have been with him for decades,” Sylvester said.

The Paycheck Protection Program is the centerpiece of the federal government’s plan to rescue an economy devastated by shutdowns and uncertainty. The program, which helps smaller businesses stay open and keep Americans employed during the pandemic, has been both popular and controversial.


Nearly one-third of U.S. teachers are 50 years or older, according to federal data. That puts them at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus. And the publication Education Week has identified more than 300 school staff and former educators who’ve died from COVID-19.

“There’s obviously a lot of fear because there are so many unanswered questions,” said Noel Candelaria, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.

He says school staff with underlying health conditions are also concerned. Consider his own family: Candelaria is married to Patty, who is a dyslexia therapist and has had three surgeries to fix a congenital heart defect.

“There are educators, like my wife, who if the districts do not provide an alternative method for them to do their job from home without exposing themselves, (they) are seriously considering a medical leave,” Candelaria said.

Texas public school districts are still waiting for safety and health guidelines from the Texas Education Agency. They were scheduled to be released last week, but were delayed after the Texas Tribune published draft rules indicating few mandatory safety measures.

That has weighed on many teachers.

“We can’t just talk about student health and safety without talking about educator health and safety, because they’re sharing the same space,” Candelaria said.

The Association of Texas Professional Educators recently surveyed some 4,200 educators. About 60% said they were concerned about their health and safety heading into the 2020-21 school year.

Sso far, however, that concern hasn’t translated into an increase in retirements. Nearly 22,000 teachers and state employees have retired this fiscal year, compared to about 25,000 last year, according to the Teacher Retirement System.


More info is here. Abbott's polls have slipped to 49% approval rating.


Some of Texas’ most recognizable law firms seem to be struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they have applied and received millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program.

On Monday, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department revealed the names of 660,000 small businesses and nonprofits that received at least $150,000 in funding from the PPA.

The SBA loan data can be explored at The Washington Post website.

The data shows dozens of Texas law firms received a loan of a million dollars or more, including Beaumont’s own Provost Umphrey.

Provost Umphrey, which specializes in toxic tort litigation, reported 99 jobs supported. The firm’s loan of $1-2 million was approved April 13.

Law schools borrow $2-5 million to teach students.
Insurance defense firms borrow $5-10 million to deny your claims.

Thomas J. Henry Law, which bills itself as the “largest law personal injury firm in Texas,” also had one of the largest loan amounts for Texas law firms ($5-10 million). The San Antonio firm reported 487 jobs supported.

Baron & Budd in Dallas, another huge firm specializing in toxic torts, received $2-5 million.

Arnold & Itkin, a Houston law firm known for landing multimillion-dollar verdicts, had a loan amount of $1-2 million.

The Carlson Law Office had its loan of $2-5 million approved on April 5. The firm reported 158 jobs supported.


  1. Know what is covered in your policy.
  2. Look to see why the insurance company denied your claim.
  3. Take pictures and document your loss.
  4. Contact an experienced insurance claim attorney.