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Florida Leaders Weigh In On Back To School Order

Thomas Favre-Bulle
flickr.com/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano says local school districts must follow an order from the state Department of Education to offer in-person classes five days a week starting in August. Some school districts are pushing back on the order. During a press briefing with the governor in Bradenton a reporter said Manatee County is one example. The district claims it’s up to the school board to decide when kids should be back in the classroom. Galvano disagrees. He says the order from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran must be followed.

"This is not just a one-sentence order. A lot of time went into it. Commissioner Corcoran wanted to give direction. It also includes a collaboration with the Department of Health, but schoolboards cannot ignore this order,” Galvano said.

Reporters asked the same question of Governor Ron DeSantis who sidestepped some. But he did say local districts would be responsible for shaping what school looks like in the fall—a picture he says is going to look different for different counties.

“The local folks are going to have to fashion things and I think it will look different here than it will look in maybe Broward, and I think it will look different yet than it does in the Panhandle. But I think there’s significant cost with not affording the opportunity for kids to have in-person education," DeSantis said.

DeSantis says he supports school choice and wants parents to have options to continue distance learning or to send their students back to the classroom. He says while he wouldn’t hesitate to send his own children, who are not yet school-aged, to school, he wants parents to feel comfortable with their choices.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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