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Jul 20 2020

Hot For Teacher

I got it bad. So bad.

Not just an incredibly bad idea, also this was inevitable.

Teachers unions sue Florida’s governor over order requiring schools to reopen despite virus surge.
The New York Times
7/20/20

Teachers unions sued Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Monday over his administration’s emergency order pushing schools to fully reopen next month even as coronavirus cases in the state are surging.

The suit, which appears to be the first of its kind across the country, sets up a confrontation between unions and politicians that could change the trajectory of school reopening over the coming weeks. In other parts of the country, including California and parts of Texas, many large school districts have concluded in recent days that it is not safe to hold in-person classes. But Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, has been pushing for things to be different in Florida, which is home to five of the country’s 10 largest districts.

Earlier this month, Mr. DeSantis’s administration ordered schools across the state to reopen five days a week starting in August. His edict came as President Trump called for schools to reopen nationwide and threatened to cut federal funding for districts that did not teach in person.

The American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second-largest teachers union, and its local affiliate, the Florida Education Association, accused Mr. DeSantis of violating a Florida law requiring that schools be “safe” and “secure.” (An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the A.F.T. as the nation’s largest union.) The unions, along with parent and teacher plaintiffs, asked a state court in Miami to block the governor’s reopening order and allow local school superintendents and health departments to have full control over reopening decisions.

Mr. DeSantis distanced himself from the executive order on Monday, noting at a news conference that it had been issued by the state’s department of education, not by him. “You know, they have a board and they do different things,” he said.

The order was signed by Richard Corcoran, the state’s commissioner of education, a former speaker of the Florida House who was tapped for the position by Mr. DeSantis when he was governor-elect and who was officially appointed by the board.

But Mr. DeSantis has urged schools to reopen for in-person instruction. “If fast food and Walmart and Home Depot — and I do all that so I’m not, like, looking down on it — but if all that is essential, then educating our kids is absolutely essential,” Mr. DeSantis said this month. “And they have been put to the back of the line in some respects.”

On Monday, Florida became the eighth state where at least 5,000 people with the virus have died after it added a daily tally of 90 deaths. The state also added 10,347 cases.

Public health experts have said districts should consider reopening only if they are in a region with a positive test rate at or below 5 percent. Miami-Dade County has recently reported positivity rates more than four times greater than that threshold, and the plaintiffs argue that it would be among the most dangerous places in the state to reopen schools.

Ah, what the heck. We treat them like dirt anyway.

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