A Florida judge on Monday ruled that the state's school reopening order is unconstitutional, as it "arbitrarily disregards safety" and "denies local school boards decision making" as to when their schools can open.
The American Federation of Teachers, the country's second-largest teachers' union, and the Florida Education Association sued Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran over the order, which was issued on July 6 and stated that if school districts did not give students the option of returning to the classroom by Aug. 31, they would risk losing funding.
Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson wrote that the districts "have no meaningful alternative. If an individual school district chooses safety, that is, delaying the start of schools until it individually determines it is safe to do so for its county, it risks losing state funding, even though every student is being taught."
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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said her union and teachers were pushing back on a "reckless disregard of human life" and "politics overtaking safety and the science and the well-being of communities." A Florida Department of Education spokeswoman confirmed on Monday evening that the state has filed an appeal.
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