Gov. Ron DeSantis announces plans to reopen Florida schools at 'full capacity' this fall

Thursday afternoon Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state’s recommended road map for reopening K-12 school campuses this fall.

The plan, which you can read in its entirety here, includes plans for disinfecting classrooms and new social distancing measures, as well as an outline for $475 million in educated-related aid, which will be completely funded by the CARES Act, says DeSantis.

“The message should be loud and clear,” said education commissioner Richard Corcoran at today’s announcement. "We’re going to be smart, we’re going to be safe, we’re going to do it step by step. We want schools fully opened in the fall because there is no better way to educate our children than have that teacher in front of that child.”

Included in the plan is $64 million to help close achievement gaps, $55 million in relief for childcare providers who stayed open during the COVID-19 pandemic, $20 million for K-3 reading curriculum and supplemental materials, $15 million for training 2,000 dedicated reading coaches, and $8 million to help every student graduating in the 2020-2021 school year take the ACT and SAT for free.
Today's announcement is just a suggestion from the state, meaning school districts don't have to follow it. "We believe what that looks like may look different in Brevard than it does in Miami-Dade than it does in Baker County," said DeSantis. "We want to empower not just the superintendents but all of the local stakeholders to be able to craft a solution that makes the most sense for that area."

The announcement also comes on the same day as Florida logged 1,698 new coronavirus cases, its largest single-day spike since the beginning of the pandemic.

This story, which originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, is a developing story and we’ll be updating it.
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