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Dates Set In FEA Lawsuit Over State Mandate Requiring Florida Schools To Open This Month

A man in a jacket walking towards school buses parked in a big lot in rows.
Stephan Savoia/AP
School buses sit idle in a lot at Veolia Transportation, Boston's school bus contractor.

A schedule is set for mediation in a lawsuit over a state order requiring schools to start in-person classes this month. The state is demanding that all schools open or faces financial consequences. Ron Meyer is the attorney for the Florida Education Association, a statewide teachers’ union. He told Judge Charles Dodson during court Thursday he believes reopening will lead to bad results.

“There can be no doubt that just rushing to open public schools here in Florida, brick and mortar, is going to create the same type of mess we are seeing across the country where you open them and then you end up closing them because there’s COVID transmission being identified," said Meyer.

The FEA wants the state to allow school districts to decide what date to open.

Dodson will hear a motion to dismiss the case Friday. If he doesn’t dismiss, he’s ordered both sides to finish mediating by midnight Tuesday, August 18. A potential injunction hearing is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday if no agreement can be made.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.