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Florida schools react to DeSantis’ latest coronavirus orders

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Students continue to wear masks and use other protections in most Florida schools. District officials across the state are reviewing their policies moving into the summer and fall.
Students continue to wear masks and use other protections in most Florida schools. District officials across the state are reviewing their policies moving into the summer and fall. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]
Published May 6
Updated May 6

The fallout continues after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ actions calling off most coronavirus-related emergency decisions. Some schools are responding cautiously, while others are immediately taking steps to comply. Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.

Nova Southeastern University had planned to require vaccinations for everyone returning to its campuses. It rescinded its requirement after the governor signed a bill banning the practice of requiring proof of inoculation by entities that receive state funding.

Florida’s universities announced they will return to ‘pre-COVID operations’ in the fall. Few specific details were revealed, the News Service of Florida reports.

Several school districts kept their mask mandates in place. The Polk County district was among many that noted the Department of Education permitted them to continue their practice despite the governor’s order, the Ledger reports. • Palm Beach County schools will still require masks indoors, but lifted the requirement outdoors as they also reopened playgrounds, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Others made plans to discontinue them over the coming few weeks. Flagler County schools won’t require them after June 5, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • The Marion County School Board is scheduled to talk about its rules at a workshop today, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

Meanwhile, parent protests grow. Several rallied outside the Seminole County school district offices, WOFL reports.

More coronavirus concerns

Manatee County schools need more substitute teachers amid an increased number of virus-related absences. After initially balking at the price tag, the School Board approved spending nearly $800,000 more to fill classrooms, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Schools see a need to provide more mental health services in the aftermath of COVID-19. Sarasota County officials are discussing the creation of a special taxing district to support such an initiative, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Race relations

After school renamings, a time to heal. Duval County’s superintendent said it will be necessary after some divisive discussions over replacing the names of Confederate soldiers, WJXT reports.

Lawmakers placed $305,000 into their budget for scholarships to descendants of the 1920 Ocoee massacre. They called it compensation for the state’s role in the deadly activities, WKMG reports. More from Florida Politics.

Other school news

It’s still recognition time. A Hillsborough County school leader was named Florida Assistant Principal of the Year. And a Sumter County teacher was announced as a third finalist for statewide Teacher of the Year, WMFE reports. The last two finalists are expected to be named today.

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Help wanted. The Lee County school district is hiring hundreds of teachers, WFTX reports.

Time to settle. The Broward County School Board began negotiating separation agreements with its superintendent and lead lawyer, WTVJ reports. The superintendent could get a $400,000 added benefit if the board lets him stick around a bit longer, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

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