NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Concerned parents and school districts wait for Florida's second semester plan

Posted at 8:22 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 20:22:30-05

Anxiety is high for parents and school districts as they wait to learn the Florida Department of Education's plan for the second semester of the school year.

During the fall semester, an emergency order allowed schools to receive the same funding for students who chose between e-learning, brick and mortar learning or a hybrid of both.

But in December, the emergency order expires and the Florida Department of Education has not yet said if they will keep funding students who are learning from home.

"This is potentially very large holes being bunched into our budgets if we are not funded for kids doing e-learning," said Charlie Kennedy, Manatee County school board member.

Kelly Verra is a parent and has two high school students doing e-learning. She wants the options to stay the same for the spring semester.

"I think they should stick to it for the whole year, and keep the (e-learning) option especially because we're seeing the numbers rise again," said Verra.

Last week, Florida's Association of Superintendents sent a letter to Richard Corcoran, the Commissioner for the Florida Department of Education, recommending to extend the emergency order through the end of the school year.

Kennedy agrees that extending the order would be best for the safety of everyone, especially with the recent surge in COVID cases.

"It is not good public health to cram thousands of students back into indoor spaces where social distancing is impossible," said Kennedy.

The state department of education is expected to announce its decision on second-semester plans later this month.