‘This is extortion’: FL school districts bow to state pressure to open schools

By: | October 2, 2020

Classrooms in Broward County will open their doors on Oct. 9 after the school board bowed to a deadline from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who had threatened to withhold funding if campuses weren’t open by his deadline.

The local board, which governs one of the nation’s largest school districts, voted unanimously to bring teachers and students back to campuses next week, beginning with the youngest students, to avoid a massive budget shortfall in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic. The district originally had planned to start classroom instruction Oct. 20. Board members lamented the decision and expressed concern about logistical challenges the district will confront to open ahead of schedule. They bashed Corcoran and Gov. Ron DeSantis for forcing their hand.

“This is extortion by the Department of Education, there’s no two ways about it,” Board member Patricia Good said at the emergency meeting.

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