ORLANDO, Fla. — As many Central Florida students headed back to class on Monday, a judge sided with educators who were fighting the state's mandate to reopen brick-and-mortar schools.
Florida's largest teacher's union is calling this a victory for teachers and students, specifically considering so many schools have already started back with face-to-face education.
One of the major parts of the ruling is that school boards, not the commissioner of education, have control over local schools and how they operate.
Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran had drawn criticism over threats that the state would withhold funding if schools did not open for face-to-face education by the end of August.
The judge agreed, saying the decisions made by Corcoran in the Department of Education are arbitrary.
The Florida Department of Education has already filed an appeal, which would stay this ruling.
This is another reason why many schools are going to stay the course and continue moving forward with in-person education.
The Florida Education Association said it should be up to each individual district to decide how to safely restart school this year.
Orange County CTA President, Wendy Doromal, released a statement Monday saying “The Education Commissioner made a reckless decision and now our district needs to reverse their reckless decision that was based on the threat of the loss of funding. We should reopen schools when it is safe to do so to protect the health of every student, teacher, employee and all our community members.”
The union is pushing to nullify sections of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order to reopen schools.
The state made its final argument against the FEA on Friday.
Attorneys for the state said not returning to the classroom would be harmful.
Seminole County Public Schools said it’s unknown if this will affect its schools because they’ve already opened.
Lake County Schools has a school board meeting planned for Monday night.
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