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Orange Schools To Offer Face-To-Face Learning, As State Says They Don’t Have To

Orange County Public Schools says it is sticking with its plan for reopening brick-and-mortar schools next month for the upcoming academic year. 

That’s despite an assurance from the state Department of Education that the district doesn’t have to if it doesn’t want to. 

The state, in a letter to the district, says the decision of when and how to reopen brick-and-mortar schools rests with the district. 

It says a waiver the district sent the state requesting local discretion isn’t necessary. 

The letter is in response to one of two lawsuits filed against the district over its plan for reopening brick-and-mortar schools as the number of coronavirus cases surges in Florida. 

Nonetheless, spokesman Michael Ollendorff says the district is proceeding with its plan to offer face-to-face as one of three learning options, as required by a previous state emergency order. 

That order required that all brick-and-mortar schools reopen five days a week and offer the full slate of services to all students. The order has prompted controversy and protests. 

The district’s Ollendorff declined further comment on pending litigation. 

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »