An executive order signed by Florida’s commissioner of education, Republican Richard Corcoran, requiring Florida schools to open in full in August, in the midst of the pandemic of coronavirus, has created controversy between parents and authorities in South Florida.
“When reopening in August, all school boards and school boards must open brick and cement schools at least five days a week for all students,” says executive order 20-149.
But South Florida school authorities have disagreed with this order.
“Our top priority is going to be, not the political views of some, but the health and well-being of our students and employees,” said Miami-Dade School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Carvalho says that the executive order gives some flexibility to districts, to offer more than one model of education, as long as it is done according to the recommendations of the health department.
And added that online education should be an option for the next school year, as 30% of Miami-Dade parents have already stated that they prefer it, to prevent their children from getting the COVID-19.
In addition, in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Carvalho stated that he will not open the school system on August 24, if conditions in Miami-Dade County regarding coronavirus are the same as there are currently.
But the US secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, does not seem to contemplate this option, and in a call to the governors attacked the decision to give face-to-face classes only a few days a week, and said that the schools should open in August in their entirety, despite being in the middle of the pandemic.
Broward County Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie also referred to the executive order signed by Corcoran, ensuring that it would never compromise the health and safety of students and employees, as that is their top priority.
Runcie added that she does not see a realistic path to open all school districts, with students being one hundred percent within schools, due to coronavirus.
On Tuesday, the Broward school board met again to discuss the reopening plan that was announced last week and in which the students would receive a hybrid or virtual education, without giving the option of 100% face-to-face, despite the request of some parents.
In both Miami-Dade and Broward, parents have until this Friday, July 10 to answer the second survey about the system they prefer for their children.