STATEWIDE — At a hearing Thursday in the lawsuit filed by the Florida Education Association against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a judge agreed to move the venue to Tallahasseee.

What You Need To Know

  • The FEA filed a lawsuit on July 20 to block state's order on schools reopening

  • The union won an emergency motion for a status hearing

  • Venue will be moved to Tallahassee

The lawsuit calls on a judge to return control of whether schools can reopen for in-person instruction back to local school districts.

Miami-Dade County Judge Spencer Eig iexpedited the transfer of the lawsuit.

DeSantis has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

In a statement, the FEA called Thursday's outcome a procedural delay but not a defeat.

"The Florida Education Association will press ahead with the lawsuit in Tallahassee to see that Gov. DeSantis and Education Commissioner [Richard] Corcoran face this case on its merits — they are violating our state’s constitution by trampling on the basic right of Floridians to have safe schools," the FEA said.

Another hearing had been scheduled for Friday, though it's unclear when that hearing will be held.

Some students are scheduled to return to classrooms as early as next week.

Original story:

It represents 145,000 Florida educators — and the Florida Education Association made it crystal clear last month it does not want students and teachers back in classrooms until the state makes major gains in the fight against COVID-19.

Now, a judge could weigh in as early as Wednesday.

The Florida Education Association is taking its case to court Wednesday.

It's a status hearing for a lawsuit the teachers union filed on July 20 to stop the governor’s executive order that requires all Florida schools to resume in-person classes in the fall, five days a week.

The first day of school is just a few weeks away.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the state’s Education Department, the Board of Education — and Miami-Dade Governor Carlos Gimenez — are all named in the lawsuit. Gimenez is in charge of the county that remains the state’s COVID-19 epicenter.

“Governor DeSantis needs a reality check, and we are attempting to provide one,” FEA President Fedrick Ingram told the Associated Press last month. “The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control.”

DeSantis said his order is providing parents — and teachers — with options.

“Parents need to choose the best environment for their students, their kids,” he said. “If a teacher doesn’t feel comfortable there...I think they should be given as many options as possible.”

Here's the latest school start dates in the Tampa area, approved by local school boards:

Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco & Polk schools will reopen August 24.

Citrus County Schools open August 20.

Manatee County Schools will open August 17.