TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants parents to have a "meaningful choice" when it comes to their childrens' education.
Speaking in Tallahassee on Wednesday, the governor said he supports parents sending their children to either in-person classroom instruction or distance learning from home when the 2020-21 academic school year begins just weeks from now.
"I believe we owe every Florida parent a choice to send your child back to school for in-person instruction or to opt to maintain distance learning," DeSantis said. "No parent should be required to send their child to in-person instruction if they don't want to."
WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:
While DeSantis reiterated that he believes children should be learning in classrooms, citing "overwhelming evidence" that schools can reopen safely, he also agreed that students and staff members shouldn't be pressured to return to brick and mortar schools.
"Why force someone to be in the classroom if they're uncomfortable doing so? Let's just find a way to make due," DeSantis said.
The governor said daycares across Florida have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, and there is no evidence of that accelerating the spread of COVID-19.
"Our kids are at the least risk from this virus and much lower risk than they are from seasonal influenza. Our kids also play the smallest role in transmission of the virus," DeSantis said.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Back To School
According to an executive order issued by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on July 6:
"Upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students, subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health, local departments of health, Executive Order 20-149 and subsequent executive orders."
"The important thing is that our parents have a meaningful choice when it comes to in-person education," DeSantis said.