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League of Women Voters of Florida Voices Concern Over State-Mandated School Reopenings

July 7, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The League of Women Voters of Florida is highlighting educators, parents and advocates concerns following the state of Florida’s recent actions regarding schools reopening this fall while the COVID-19 crisis continues to plague our communities, state and nation.

School openings should be based upon medical experts and locally driven decisions that meet the specific needs of each district. The League of Women Voters of Florida is a longtime supporter of home rule. Home rule is crucial in this instance where COVID-19 is greatly affecting areas of our state while other areas remain less impacted.

Policymakers within local school districts must be the ones to call the shots regarding school reopening. These policymakers must be aware of all equivocal evidence surrounding COVID-19 when making these decisions.The state should forgo forcing its hand too heavily in this matter. The state of Florida’s role moving forward should be to provide school districts, teachers and parents clear and accurate data.

It is imperative that all means of social distancing and safety measures are considered. It is also important to note that school districts should plan for continuity of learning in the case of absenteeism/sick leave due to additional school closures that could arise due to continued complications caused by COVID-19.

School districts should provide continued access to quality education. This may include the following:

• Use of online/e-learning strategies
• Assigning reading and exercises for home study
• Radio, podcast or television broadcasts of academic content
• Assigning teachers to conduct remote daily or weekly follow up with students
• Review/develop accelerated education strategies

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The League of Women Voters of Florida encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund works to register voters, provide voters with election information through voter guides as well as candidate forums and debates.

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