Florida, Palm Beach County Quiet For Now On Fall Teaching Plans
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The president of the National Education Association, the union representing teachers and the largest labor organization nationwide, told CNN Wednesday morning that schools reopening in the Fall seems like a bad idea, based on current information.
“I haven’t heard anyone say just because it’s September it’s time to open those doors.”
Lily Garcia’s comments come as California State University announces that its fall semester will be online. Other university systems are expected to follow. There has been no announcement — as of early Wednesday morning — from Florida’s higher education institutions.
The Palm Beach County School District has made no announcements yet concerning the the 2020-2021 school year. It may not ultimately be a local decision. The State of Florida — which ordered schools closed in March — has been surveying parents about delaying the school year until after Labor Day.
Florida notoriously starts early — the Palm Beach County School District is set to start on August 11th.
Whenever — if ever — Florida decides to reopen schools for “in person” education, it will need the support of the teachers.
“Our fear is that people are going to say this is the date and people will rush in and children will be hurt,” said Garcia. “You have to ask the educators.”
There has been no official statement from the Florida Education Association — the state chapter of the NEA. Florida unions tend to be weaker than their counterparts in other states. Florida is a “right to work” state which means you do not have to join a collective bargaining unit — a union.
You rarely — if ever — see a “strike” in Florida as you do in other states.
Even so, the Florida Education Association will unquestionably have a major role in telling Florida leaders when it’s okay to reopen the doors. If there is no teacher support, if teachers do not approve “social distancing” plans, it is unlikely that “in person” classroom education can resume.