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Fla. Education Commissioner responds to new CDC guidance for school re-openings

Fla. Education Commissioner responds to new CDC guidance for school re-openings
Posted at 3:36 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 15:36:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Following the new Centers for Disease Control guidance for safely reopening schools for in-person learning, Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran responded by saying that Florida schools should "stay the course."

The CDC's plan emphasizes mask-wearing, social distancing and other actions, and adds that vaccination of teachers is important, but not a prerequisite for reopening.

The CDC cannot force schools to reopen, and agency officials were careful to say they are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools be reopened.

Commissioner Corcoran said in a release that while the CDC's guidance was informative, Florida schools need to keep doing what they have been doing.

"CDC guidance is informative, although Florida school districts, public charter schools and private schools should stay the course they began in Summer 2020," said Corcoran.

He went on to say that plans should not change for Florida schools and that they should feel secure with the state backing them financially.

“As Commissioner, I want to be particularly clear that all K-12 school districts and public charter schools should proceed with their Spring 2021 plans that were built on their successful fall 2020 reopening plans, continue to follow the Florida re-opening guidance and feel secure in the financial and educational modality flexibilities assured to them through both DOE emergency orders 06 and 07," said Corcoran. "Be reminded that the financial flexibilities afforded by the state are contingent on adhering with the requirements of emergency orders 06 and 07."

Emergency order 06 dealt with the reopening of schools for Fall 2020 and emergency order 07 dealt with the reopening of schools for Spring 2021.