HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — Florida's Education commissioner and Hillsborough County Schools are at odds over the district's plans to offer only online classes when school resumes August 24.
The district's plan is to hold only virtual classes for the first four weeks of school.
What You Need To Know
- Richard Corcoran says school board "needs to follow the law, it's that simple"
- Hillsborough schools statement says it will review letter with legal team
- PREVIOUS: Board OKs remote learning for first 4 weeks of year
- PREVIOUS: Survey says nearly half of Hillsborough County students opt for eLearning
A letter delivered to the district Friday from state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran stated that the district does not meet the requirements of the state mandate to offer in-classroom instruction when school resumes.
"The Hillsborough County School Board needs to follow the law, it’s that simple," he said in a prepared statement.
"The whole reason the Department created the emergency order was to grant districts maximum flexibility to do what is right for parents and school children. We will not stand idly by while they trample over the majority of parents who want to do right by their children."
Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Addison Davis said the district is doing the best that it can, based on advice from medical experts.
"We’re going to continue to work with the medical practitioners, and as soon as we get a breakthrough or we are close to that 7 [percent], between and 5 percent for the positive test rates, I’m going to sound the alarm to the board and keep the board apprised of where we are from a local perspective," Davis said.
In a statement, he said, “I have received the letter from the Florida Department of Education and we are in the process of reviewing and analyzing the letter with our legal team. Yesterday, the School Board made an informed decision after receiving data and hearing from the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, along with hearing the advice of other local infectious disease and public health authorities. The Board acted after serious deliberations and with all due diligence. Our district understood the possibility that such a response from the state might come, and it has been clear that the district could face negative implications. We will use this information to have discussions about where we go from here."