Judge overturns ruling for Florida teachers unions finding school reopenings unconstitutional



Handing another victory to the state Friday, the 1st District Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that said Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran violated the Florida Constitution when he issued a July order aimed at reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nothing in the emergency order requires any teacher or any student to return to the classroom,” a three-judge panel of the appellate court said in the 31-page decision.

The panel flatly rejected the conclusions of Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who in August sided with teachers unions that challenged Corcoran’s order. The unions argued, at least in part, that the order violated a constitutional guarantee of “safe” and “secure” public education.

The appeals court said the plaintiffs in the case lacked legal standing and were asking courts to decide “non-justiciable political questions.” Also the panel said the union’s arguments would require courts to violate the constitutional separation of powers and that they failed to show Corcoran’s order was “arbitrary and capricious.”

Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.