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Monday, August 24, 2020

Why today's court decision means little for Duval County

Finally, some sanity and good news today as the Tallahassee circuit court said the state exceeded it's authority when it threatened to take away district's funding unless it bowed to their will and opened schools and risked lives. Sadly this momentous decision will have little impact on Duval.

First about the decision, from the Tampa Times,

Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled in favor of Florida’s statewide teachers union Monday, saying Department of Education officials “essentially ignored the requirement of school safety” when they ordered campuses to reopen for face-to-face classes this month. 

In his decision, Dodson also found that the department’s order, issued July 6, essentially overrode school boards’ constitutional authority to operate their own school systems. 

“The districts have no meaningful alternative,” Dodson wrote. “If an individual school district chooses safety, that is, delaying the start of schools until it individually determines it is safe to do so for its county, it risks losing state funding, even though every student is being taught.”

Weeks ago, I wrote I wish the board would have held up the constitution and said this trump's the state executive order, but instead, they decided to go the path of least resistance and gave.

So this decision will be appealed, and I am not optimistic the court packed Florida Supreme Court is capable of following the law, but it's still some good news. For the last decade, the state has eroded the authority fo districts to govern themselves with just token resistance.

The thing is Greene is on the record of staying schools should open, and she did so when things were much worse than they are today; to her risking lives is the right call, to me, it is reckless and unacceptable. Distance learning may not be great for a lot of kids but we have set up is just as bad or worse.

I can only speak for myself, but I am miserable at school, it's hard to teach through the mask, I have been getting headaches, and there is no social distance. I cannot teach six feet away from my students and have my lessons be meaningful. I have to get in there with them, and where I am just speaking for myself, I bet I am not the only one.

I hope I am wrong, but my opinion that schools will eventually close has not changed, and when they do Greene will have to accept the lion's share of responsibility because no matter what the state did or does, we are doing what Greene wants and have been since the get-go. 

Like I said, I hope I am wrong. 

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