Lawsuit over Florida schools reopening won’t be heard in Miami-Dade

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A judge sided with the state Thursday, deciding that the case over a lawsuit filed by the Florida Education Association to stop reopening should be heard in Leon County, where Tallahassee is located, instead of Miami-Dade.

The suit was filed after Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order saying schools had to open their doors physically at least five days a week.

The order does allow local school districts to decide when they reopen based on COVID-19 positivity rates.

“[The executive order] does not require any particular teacher, student, parent, staff to be physically present at any school,” said Angel Cortinas, the state’s attorney. “That decision is made exclusively by the school boards who are not parties to the states.”

The state had asked the judge to either dismiss the case or move it to Leon County, and Judge Spencer Eig did the latter.

“The human beings of this state, the governor of this state, the commissioner, the teachers I humbly and respectfully represent should be in round-the-clock talks,” plaintiff attorney Mark Richard said. “They’ve refused that mediation.”

Richard argued that transferring the case would delay any result.

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