Local teachers hope federal government will offer more support for schools that have already opened

President Biden wants to see most schools open within the first 100 days of his administration and proposes $130 billion to reopen safely.

The goal is leaving some Houston area educators scratching their heads.   

"The plan to reopen is almost a moot point for districts like ours where we've already been opened. It's kind of frustrating because they're not addressing those districts," said Rebekah Plourde, a high school English teacher with Klein ISD. She is also the parent of two children in the district.

Klein ISD began in-person instruction in September.

Plourde says her children tested positive for COVID-19, and is in quarantine at home for the third time.

"I have never been so stressed in my entire life," she noted.


One of the President's goals is to fund more staff to allow for better social distancing in schools.

Plourde says at Klein ISD, that could happen if some teachers were allowed to solely teach virtually from home instead of being required to do both simultanously from the classroom.

"[For example], if I were to be teaching from home, my classroom would then be empty and you would be able to hire more staff to be able to teach those on-campus kids," she explained.

The school district acknowledged they are not set up for any of their staff to teach remotely only.

"As a teacher, things are out of my control. I want to handle my classroom a certain way and I get told by other people, I can't do it this way," Plourde said.

Plourde also says she is using personal sick days during this third quarantine and has not been able to work from home.

In a statement, Klein ISD said: "The information shared with FOX 26 is erroneous. Although we cannot speak to the specifics of this employee’s circumstances, all employees have been communicated with regarding the various options available to them for extended leave during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to support all our employees and suggest this employee work with Human Resource Services to clarify any concerns." 


"I felt like there was a lot of potential for people to consistently get sick at the school," said Jeremy Eugene, former teacher with Aldine ISD.

Eugene says he quit in January after he felt his safety concerns were not addressed by the district.

He is one of many educators who have spoken out against STAAR testing during the pandemic. On Thursday, TEA Comissioner Mike Morath stated children learning remotely do not have to take the exam.

He feels the Biden's proposals are not aggressive enough. He believes schools should continue with distance learning until vaccines for educators and school staff are available.

"They still have time to turn it around and get things right, but I wish they would have done things differently than what they're doing," Eugene noted.

FOX 26 did reach out to Aldine ISD for comment but we have not heard back.