Florida GOP Gov. Ron Desantis was cheered for his order earlier this week mandating Florida schools fully reopen in August, but there’s more to the story than that:
Agree or disagree with @govrondesantis’s decision to order schools in Florida to reopen fully – and I agree – this is leadership. The man knows the data about risks to kids and he is doing what he thinks is right. No CYA commissions or blue-ribbon panels. Leaders lead. pic.twitter.com/Bc45yMax8m
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) July 7, 2020
The order actually deferred to local health officials. From the Palm Beach Post:
The emergency order – issued by state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran Monday, the same day President Donald Trump called for schools to reopen – appeared at first to undermine the push by some educators to keep classes online when the school year begins.
Though the order said schools can remain closed if county health officials deem reopening too dangerous, a Corcoran spokeswoman heaped doubt on that possibility.
“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 Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Monday.
And school superintendents in Florida’s two most populous counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — are sounding the alarm that schools will not open on time if things stay as they are in the state.
Miami-Dade’s Alberto Carvalho:
Today’s @EducationFL executive order on FL’s reopening of schools is both fair and balanced. It allows parental options as offered by @MDCPS, guarantees fiscal stability, and respects local decision-making based on health conditions at time of reopening. #covid19
— Alberto M. Carvalho (@MiamiSup) July 7, 2020
Carvalho said on CNN last night, “I will not reopen our school system August 24th if the conditions are what they are today”:
“I will not reopen our school system August 24th if the conditions are what they are today,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says. “Our reopening plan contemplates a phase two reality. We are still in phase one.” https://t.co/BBpiUNVWhm pic.twitter.com/sj2nPQJqMc
— CNN (@CNN) July 7, 2020
Here’s Broward’s Robert Runcie.
It is up to each individual school district how it reopens in the fall and we will submit a plan to FLDOE. We will continue to follow the advice of our public health and medical experts as to how and when it is safe for our @browardschools community to return to school. pic.twitter.com/Qy3L5HMhXI
— Supt Runcie (@RobertwRuncie) July 6, 2020
As of today, Runcie “doesn’t ‘see a path’ to open schools ‘similar to how we existed before we closed our schools for the coronavirus pandemic'”:
Robert Runcie, superintendent of schools Broward County, Florida, says he doesn't "see a path" to open schools "similar to how we existed before we closed our schools for the coronavirus pandemic" due to the state's current condition. https://t.co/xci1LhyG3x
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 8, 2020
“Fully open and fully operational this fall”? Not at this rate:
— Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) July 7, 2020
So, what’s Gov. DeSantis going to do about it?