A Texas teacher weighs schools reopening, state guidelines and the coronavirus pandemic

Darcy Vogt Williams says districts want flexibility deciding how and when to start the new school year, given the pandemic. Listen in the weekend edition of The Brief podcast.

Darcy Vogt Williams, a band teacher in Leander ISD, holds a sign at the protest she organized outside the State Capitol on Jul. 15, 2020. Photo credit: Allie Goulding/The Texas Tribune


Like thousands of teachers across Texas, Darcy Vogt Williams says she’s frustrated. About a month out from the start of the new school year, the Texas Education Agency continues to fine-tune its guidance on how districts should reopen safely to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. On Friday it again revised its plans, giving schools more time before they must resume teaching students in person, and allowing districts hard hit by the coronavirus to seek waivers.

“You would hope that the Texas Education Agency would understand that we are in a position that none of us could have prepared for, and it has zero to do with teachers not wanting to work. We all want to work,” Williams said.

Williams teaches band at Stiles Middle School in Leander, north of Austin. After hearing teachers from around the state voice similar complaints about the fall guidelines, she said she felt compelled to organize a protest Wednesday outside of the State Capitol.

Listen in the weekend edition of The Brief podcast .