Statement from Education Commissioner

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., February 12, 2021 – Today, Commissioner Richard Corcoran released the following statement regarding the expected release of new pandemic related guidance for schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“Since Summer 2020, Florida school districts, superintendents, public charter schools, private schools, educators, students and families have worked hard and have done an incredible job ensuring Florida students can continue to receive a world class education in-person, every day. CDC guidance is informative, although Florida school districts, public charter schools and private schools should stay the course they began in Summer 2020. The science has been clear since August, and subsequent studies and data since then show that schools are safe to reopen.

“Unlike much of the nation, Florida’s schools have been operating safely for in-person instruction since last August, many also operated summer education programs, and 98.5% of early learning programs are serving families in-person. Most of Florida’s state colleges and technical colleges never fully stopped in-person instruction because of the essential pipeline they supply for Florida’s recovery-related workforce professions.

“As Commissioner, I want to be particularly clear that all K-12 school districts and public charter schools should proceed with their Spring 2021 plans that were built on their successful fall 2020 reopening plans, continue to follow the Florida re-opening guidance and feel secure in the financial and educational modality flexibilities assured to them through both DOE emergency orders 06 and 07.Be reminded that the financial flexibilities afforded by the state are contingent on adhering with the requirements of emergency orders 06 and 07.

“Through the pandemic, Governor DeSantis has shown great leadership when making decisions, consistently utilizing science and data. Our district and school leaders have been thoughtful and diligent in safely reopening Florida schools and every district and school has long since re-opened to serve our students and have continued to implement best practices for safe and healthy schools while continuing to close achievement gaps, likely exacerbated by school closures.”

– Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran