Commission Calls For “Phase 2” In Multiple Parts.
Plan Thwarts School Board Attempt To Pin Reopening On Commission Decision.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners may have just outsmarted the Palm Beach County School Board.
For weeks, the school board’s plan was to open schools for in-person learning when Palm Beach County moved to “Phase 2” of the reopening plan. Commissioners have largely been against this, saying that the school board needs to make its own decisions that have nothing to with the county commission — a completely separate governing body. Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner has repeatedly expressed concern about the strain reopening will put on the community as businesses are slowly allowed to return to a sense of normalcy.
An agenda for Tuesday’s Palm Beach County Commission meeting — obtained by BocaNewsNow.com — reveals that Palm Beach County Commissioners may be calling the School Board’s bluff. Phase 2 won’t really be a full “phase 2,” putting pressure on the school board to devise another reopening plan.
The fear: reopening businesses while simultaneously permitting up to 180,000 students to return to brick-and-mortar schools could lead to another COVID-19 crisis.
Read the proposed plan below. This is just a working document — language will almost assuredly change. But it is a significant strike against the Palm Beach County School District reopening with “Phase 2,” as “Phase 2” will take on a completely different meaning than what the School Board expected.
This is official proposed agenda language from the Board of County Commissioners:
SUMMARY: At the August 25, 2020 meeting of theBoard of County Commissioners (BCC), staff was directed to bring back aPhase 2 Re-opening Plan for Palm Beach County. Over the past four months,the County has been in a Phase 1 Reopening per Executive Order 20-112 andExecutive Order 20-123 issued by Governor DeSantis. Executive Order 20-139, allowed the State to move to a Phase 2 reopening with the exception ofMiami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Per the Order, those requests for re-opening may happen by written request from the County Mayor or CountyAdministrator of each respective County. The Phase 2 Re-opening Plan detailed in Attachment 1 outlines steps for re-opening additional Palm BeachCounty businesses in staggered increments on specific dates beginningThursday, September 8 , 2020. The phased re-openings are contemplated in five steps and start with the reopening of certain indoor entertainment venues, followed by a re-opening of in-person instruction at public schools as determined by the Palm Beach County School Board, moving to additional indoor entertainment venues in the third step, and moving to further reduced restrictions on entertainment venues in step four. Additional business openings and reducing business capacity restrictions are contemplated beyond that time frame (Step 5) pending specific authorization of the Governor. Evaluation periods are built in between each of the phases to allow for review of health metrics data to determine if any significant resurgences may be attributed to the advancement of the phased openings. Countywide (LDC)
No immediate response from the School Board or Palm Beach County School District officials.
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