Florida Education Department Issues Order Letting Parents Decide on Children Learning Remotely or in Classroom

In partnership with the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, this week, the Florida Department of Education issued an emergency order that maintains the flexibility and assurances outlined in an earlier one for Spring 2020 and includes: maintaining a parent’s right to choose what educational option best fits the needs of their family, including innovative learning options that benefit students, families and school employees; guaranteeing the full panoply of services for at-risk students; and progress monitoring for all students, while ensuring financial flexibility and stability for school districts and charter schools.

In addition, the new emergency order requires educational interventions for students who may be falling behind, especially at-risk students, and rewards school districts and individual charter schools that have exceeded their projected enrollment.

The new emergency order creates safeguards to address concerns from parents, and was based on a framework recommended by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, and strongly aligned with input provided by district financial officers.

“Earlier this year, I directed Commissioner Corcoran to issue an emergency order to ensure every parent in the state of Florida had the option during the pandemic to decide whether their child learns in the classroom or learns remotely,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday. “This new order doubles down on our commitment to give parents that critical flexibility and takes further steps to reduce achievement gaps caused by remote learning.”

“We have said from the start that we must show compassion and grace as we make important decisions to get students back in the classroom,” said Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “This emergency order delivers on our promise to be diligent and instill confidence in families, which allows students to continue to receive a world-class education. While nearly 65 percent of students are receiving face-to-face instruction, nearly 1.2 million students are still learning through distance learning. The good news is, we maintained maximum flexibility and options for parents, students, and districts while adding well-needed tools to address the needs of struggling students and provide interventions to close achievement gaps.”

“The Florida Association of District School Superintendents is grateful that Emergency Order 07 is framed directly with our input. We appreciate Governor DeSantis’ and Commissioner Corcoran’s tireless leadership and dedication to the students and families across the state of Florida,” said Michael Grego, the president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and the superintendent of Pinellas County Schools. “This order represents an unprecedented commitment to provide financial stability for districts, flexibility for parents and interventions for struggling learners.”

“Many students, receive a lot more than just an academic education through school. With this emergency order, we are going to continue to support all Florida students, especially our most vulnerable, and make sure our families have options,” said Chairman of the State Board of Education Andy Tuck. “Two constants have remained, keeping our education community safe and ensuring our students receive a world-class education. I am thankful and proud that Governor DeSantis, Commissioner Corcoran and the State Board of Education have kept a laser focus on why we’re here – Florida’s students.”

 

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