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Leon County judge to hear Florida Education Association school reopening case Friday

Posted at 9:02 AM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 14:23:56-04

On Thursday morning, a judge heard comments on a lawsuit brought on by the Florida Education Association aimed at stopping districts from opening brick and mortar schools.

Last Wednesday, a Miami-Dade judge sided with the state's attorneys and decided to transfer the case to a Leon County judge. After two judges recused themselves, a third chosen judge will listen to both sides.

The plaintiffs in the case dropped Miami-Dade's mayor from the suit after a Tallahassee judge took over. Now, with a couple of weeks left before many more districts begin the school year, the FEA hopes this judge sides with them to delay that process. The union believes re-opening schools for a traditional return is not safe for students or teachers.

During Thursday's hearing, the judge scheduled a hearing for 11 a.m. on Friday on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. If the motion is denied, there will be a mediation on Tuesday, August 18. Potential injunction hearings are set for Wednesday, August 19 at 8:30 a.m. and Thursday, August 20 if needed.

Back in July, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran sent out an emergency order saying a traditional return to brick and mortar schools five days a week must be included in every district's reopening plans.

A few counties, including Hillsborough, defied that order. Hillsborough County's School Board agreed to start the first four weeks with distance learning. Corcoran rejected the plan and now the district is at risk of losing $23 million.

If you would like to watch Thursday's hearing click here.