Task force to advise on date for reopening schools

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 3:28 PM EDT
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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service

April 15, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Governor Ron DeSantis said he has not yet made a decision on whether students can return to the classroom before the school year ends.

Right now, his order suspends on campus learning until May 1, but he’s getting plenty of advice to continue distance learning thought the end of the school year.

Tallahassee Community College is already telling students and staff that summer classes will be online, but other colleges are waiting to make a decision.

When it comes to public schools, the decision will be a statewide one.

“It doesn’t mean that they are going to go back. But I think we just need to get down this road a bit further,” said DeSantis.

The state’s teacher union wrote the governor, urging him to keep schools closed for the rest of the year despite what it says are ongoing problems with the availability of online learning.

“If we can assure the health and safety of our students and those who take care of students everyday, then we can support the progress of going back to school. If we can not, and that questions is already answered. We can not. We don’t have enough tests,” said Fedrick Ingram, President of the Florida Education Association.

A soon to be announced task force will weigh in on the options, not only for the rest of this school year, but summer, fall and beyond.

“You know, maybe there’ll be an anti-viral developed. We don’t know how this thing is gonna..Is there going to be this wave and then a second wave comes back in the fall? So there's a lot of things that you need to be prepared for. So they are going to look at all this stuff with education,” said DeSantis.

In addition to the teachers union, the superintendent here in the state’s capital city wrote the governor on Wednesday,

The governor said any decision on when schools open with be made after consulting with superintendents and parents.

But for parents juggling working from home and homeschooling, a decision can’t come soon enough.