All K-12 schools in Florida will reopen next month, per the education commissioner’s emergency order
Florida’s education commissioner has given an emergency order stating that all schools will reopen for in-person instruction in August, despite the state now being at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported Monday that the state’s education commissioner, Richard Corcoran, issued the order, saying in part, “All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools in August at least five days per week for all students.” Local health officials have the power to override this decision based on the number of new cases of coronavirus in their counties, but the announcement makes it clear that districts have to prepare to open.
FLORIDA REQUIRING ALL SCHOOLS TO REOPEN IN THE FALL DESPITE RECORD-HIGH CASES: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a press conference on the latest coronavirus developments in the state.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 7, 2020
Florida shut down its schools on March 17 when there was an average of 69 new COVID-19 cases per day in the state, according to Huffington Post. On Sunday, Florida reported 10,059 new cases in a single 24-hour period and currently has 214,000 cases according to John’s Hopkins University. Florida recorded its highest positivity rate on Tuesday — 16.27% of Monday’s tests came back positive. The state has been at or above a 14% positivity rate for the past eight days.
Although schools may also offer remote learning, parents must have the option to send their children to a brick and mortar school. If they offer remote learning, the plans must be approved by the state. There will also be stricter guidelines around remote schooling to ensure students receive the same number of instructional hours, the same content, and the same level of interaction that students would receive if they were in school, in person.
It is up to each individual school district how it reopens in the fall and we will submit a plan to FLDOE. We will continue to follow the advice of our public health and medical experts as to how and when it is safe for our @browardschools community to return to school. pic.twitter.com/Qy3L5HMhXI
— Supt Runcie (@RobertwRuncie) July 6, 2020
The order appears to follow President Donald Trump’s view on the matter. He tweeted, “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” which Corcoran retweeted late Monday after announcing the order.
SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020
A statement from the Classroom Teachers Association accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of putting lives at risk while pushing his political agenda. “While we know that face-to-face learning is optimal, CTA will not support a reopening plan that could expose students, teachers or their families to illness, hospitalization or death,” the organization stated. “Lost academic time and lessons can be made up ― a life cannot.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis refuses to mandate masks.
He refuses to temporarily close beaches.
He announced today that public schools will open next month.
His office has been closed to the public for almost 4 months to protect him from COVID-19.
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) July 7, 2020
The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association agreed with that response. “The Governor and Secretary are pushing a political and economic agenda over the safety and well-being of students, teachers and school employees,” they said.
Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.