One South Florida school district announced it will not require students to return to the classroom one day after the state mandated schools to reopen and offer on-campus learning five days a week, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Broward County schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Tuesday he will not require students to return to physical classrooms in August.
“We do not see a realistic path” for every school in the county to open five days a week, he told the newspaper.
On Monday, State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order requiring public schools to provide students in-classroom learning next month. But in the state of Florida, school boards have control over public schools, not the state education commissioner, per the state constitution.
The order does state that schools can remain closed if health officials say it is too dangerous to reopen. But as lockdown orders have been lifted, an education spokeswoman said it would be hard for officials to say a return to school isn't safe.
“Logically, I don't think they could say schools aren't safe if they are allowing people to be out in public,” Department of Education spokeswoman Cheryl Etters told The Palm Beach Post.
Several school leaders throughout the state are pushing back on the mandate to reopen.
President of the Martin County Education Association Karen Resciniti told TCPalm that reopening schools “could be catastrophic."
She said most teachers in her district are opposed to going back to in-person teaching even if masks are required and social distancing is followed.
"We realize there's no way to have a perfect plan," E. David Freeland, president of the Education Association of St. Lucie County, told TCPalm. "But we should at least meet the guidelines of declining numbers" before returning to in-person learning.
A Palm Beach County district administrator told The Palm Beach Post that the district's Health Advisory Committee is not going to recommend sending students back to campuses before it is safe to do so.
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