Gov. DeSantis predicts state win over union in school reopening lawsuit

But does it ultimately matter who wins? Maybe not, Governor says.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is confident Florida will win its appeal of a lower-court ruling asserting the state didn’t protect teachers sufficiently when reopening schools this month.

The Governor, addressing reporters after a business roundtable in Tampa, said, “I think we’ll win the appeal, obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it.”

The Florida Education Association lawsuit challenges an edict from the Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that schools must reopen this month under plans approved by his office or run the risk of losing state funding. A Leon County judge sided with the union last week.

But the Governor isn’t worried.

“There’s a lot of talk, a judge that ruled this and all this, but here’s what I was telling the Commissioner when he was telling me about the ruling,” DeSantis said. “You know, if the appeals court rules against the state, you know, in three weeks, those districts … the parents are still going to want to have that option, so functionally I don’t think it’s going to change.”

The Governor was happy with the reopenings thus far, he said.

“I think the districts have worked very hard,” DeSantis said. “Every Superintendent I’ve talked to said that going back the first day was one of the best days they can remember in their career.”

“I know a lot of parents were happy to have that choice to be able to send their child back to school.”

The Governor has contended that the younger the patient, the less likely that patient is even to display symptoms, and that line of argument was on display in Tampa Thursday.

DeSantis pooh-poohed the preponderance of positive tests in colleges, urging “context and perspective” on cases, including whether positive tests are symptomatic.

“With these universities, students are going back. They’re testing students. And you’ll see these headlines saying ‘oh, 2,000 students at the University of Alabama test positive’,’ and they test like 60,000 people,” DeSantis said. “So the rate is lower than the general public in the United States and it’s being portrayed like ‘oh, there’s a massive outbreak’.”

“There was a study that came out recently that looked at a bunch of child care in the United States,” DeSantis added. “They found it had almost no, very little impact with the child care being open, which it was in most of the country.”

The Governor and Corcoran have suffered considerable criticism from unions and the left for compelling districts to offer brick and mortar options in all counties. But those on the right, including Donald Trump Jr., have the administration’s back.

Like DeSantis, Corcoran is “100% confident” the appeal will go his way.

But ahead of the lower court ruling, Corcoran said then he was “100% confident” it would go his way, even suggesting that teachers who walkout could be “terminated.”

“It’s a frivolous lawsuit … It’s an absolutely frivolous case,” Corcoran said. “We’ve already opened up over a third of our districts. We have 65% of parents and students who have chosen to be face to face with their instructors.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • S.B. Anthony

    August 27, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    I thought DeSantis was a law school grad. Any first year lawyer knows
    never to predict a legal outcome. Yale and Harvard? Maybe not so much.
    If he really is one of those “elites,” no doubt Yale and Harvard are disavowing
    him right now. Pathetic.

    • just sayin

      August 27, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      Actually you go to law school so that you can predict legal outcomes. That’s literally the most important thing. This is like you saying a med school grad knows never to diagnose a patient.

  • Frankie M.

    August 28, 2020 at 9:18 am

    You’re always 100% til you’re not. It’s like a football team going into a game saying they’re just hoping to keep it close.

    “Every Superintendent I’ve talked to said that going back the first day was one of the best days they can remember in their career.”

    By “every” does he mean one?

    This is the sales tax referendum all over again. Delay, delay, delay til you get what you want by default. This was never about ‘winning’ it’s about stalling. School has already started so it’s effectively a moot point.

  • Mary

    August 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    When I see Ron disaster and cocaran kids walking inside public school. I send my kids.

Comments are closed.


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