Florida teachers demand transparency amid pandemic
Teachers protest as school districts consider reopening.

Florida Education Association slams Ron DeSantis, Richard Corcoran over transparency.

A new message from the Florida Education Association slams Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran for an alleged lack of transparency.

A 30-second commercial features Floridians of all ages staring into video conference cameras to express alarm at a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We are public school educators, parents and students,” an alternating chorus of individuals states.

“Those at the top need to end the chaos and stop playing politics with our kids’ health. We want transparency, flexibility, stability and safety in our schools— and no cuts to education.”

It’s a continuation of thoughts the teachers’ union has already delivered about disappointment in Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s administration and its response to the pandemic regarding school systems. The FEA released a similar message last month.

“Getting accurate information, uncolored by politics, is the bare minimum of what we should expect from state government,” said FEA President Andrew Spar. “Parents and educators want the truth about what’s happening in our schools. We need to be able to trust our leaders, to know that they’re acting in our interest and not in the interest of scoring political points at the expense of Florida’s children and our communities.”

Local districts have been releasing reports on infections within schools since the start of the new school year, but the Florida Department of Health just this week started putting out such reports on a statewide scale. But the numbers from the state and local districts don’t always jive, as the South Florida Sun Sentinel has noted.

A release makes clear the union specifically holds distaste for Corcoran’s heavy-handed approach to the release of data coupled with demands schools open five days a week.

“Those qualities appear to be in limited supply, with Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran showing a distinct lack of flexibility toward local districts, and with a continuing lack of transparency and accuracy in the information available to educators and parents,” reads an FEA press release.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 1, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    A middle school student died in Jacksonville/Mayport Middle school!!! How many students were quarantined? How many students have been made to be community spreaders just from this school? Are the schools districts even bothering to community trace? Why why why. Why are our children die or spread the trumpvirus? What is the plan when the regular cold and flu season hits (now is happening).? Just for Duffus Desantis trying to please his puppet master trump!

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