TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s largest teacher union sued Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to overturn a sweeping emergency order that requires schools to physically open five days a week, saying the policy bypasses local leaders and defies national public health guidelines.
The complaint, filed in circuit court in Miami-Dade County, comes as the Republican governor sought to distance himself from the order, which has been targeted by teachers, parents and school leaders since it was issued July 6.
The order has made Florida a political battleground over schools and the coronavirus outbreak as DeSantis and Corcoran followed the lead of President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy Devos, who are pressuring states to fill classrooms with students in the fall. DeSantis in recent days has backpedaled, making it clear on Monday that the mandate wasn’t his idea and putting his own education secretary on the defensive.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said DeSantis is “in intense denial” over Florida’s coronavirus outbreak.