School Reopening Ruling Appealed, Triggering Stay


Tallahassee, FL - A day after a Leon County circuit judge rejected an order by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that schools reopen for in-person learning, attorneys for the state have quickly taken the case to the 1st District Court of Appeal.

A notice of appeal was filed Tuesday morning at the Tallahassee-based appeals court. The filing triggered an automatic stay that puts on hold Monday’s ruling by Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, attorneys for the state wrote, citing legal precedents.

Dodson sided with the Florida Education Association teachers union and the Orange County teachers union in challenges to a July 6 order by Corcoran that required schools to open this month for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The unions argued, in part, that the order violated a state constitutional guarantee of “safe” and “secure” public education. Schools districts have risked losing funding if they did not comply with Corcoran’s order, and many have already opened. Dodson issued a temporary injunction against major parts of the order.

The notice of appeal, as is common, did not detail arguments that the state will make at the appeals court. It also was not immediately clear how long it will take the court to consider the case.


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