Commissioner Corcoran Respect the wishes of Miami-Dade Parents and Teachers

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Miami-Dade County has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State of Florida. As residents we are uniquely aware of where our position and our safety lies within our community. 

The safety of our children is paramount to thousands of families in our school district. As such, parents and teachers made their voices heard in the latest Miami-Dade School board meeting, causing a 30-hour record-breaking meeting. The board accurately concluded that the community desired for a well thought and careful plan for reopening the school buildings. Therefore, more time was added to allow for detailed planning. Our Superintendent gracefully agreed that the extension would provide for better organization.

As parents, we made our voices heard, we made our wishes for our kids known. The School Board listened and agreed. The Florida Department of Education and specifically Commissioner Richard Corcoran, should not interfere in local policies. State Government officials have not visited our schools, they have not provided additional funding per student to provide better safety measures for such a large school district. The threat of withholding tax-payer funds is not a valid reason for haphazard school reopening. 

  • Brick and mortar schools do not have appropriate plexi barriers, or signage installed to ensure the safety of everyone in the buildings. 
  • The population of each school does not permit adequate social-distancing spacing between each of the students. 
  • There is a lack of detailed plans in case multiple faculty and staff members get ill. 
  • Most parents still have not been informed of any of the procedures if any of the children get sick as well.  

It is irresponsible to then demand the largest school district in the state to rush brick and mortar school reopening.

As UTD president Karla Hernandez-Mats states:

"...We are the fourth largest school district in the country with an on-boarding of almost 400,000 students and teachers in the epicenter of the virus in Florida. Those parameters require a much more thoughtful approach which is why the school board voted to push back the reopening and implement a staggered start. We cannot risk suffering the consequences of a rushed return to class when we know our school buildings are not yet ready. Our decision to push back our date is not only based on science and the data available, it is supported by hundreds upon hundreds of educators and parents who wished to see a reopening that would not regress our community back to Phase 1 status. Failure to do this will not only lead to another lockdown, it will also impact our ability to vote. The negligence is unfathomable and our community needs to stand up and realize there's more at play here than what meets the eye..."

We, residents of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, demand proper planning to allow our children back into school buildings. Commissioner Corcoran is ignoring our wishes with his letter. He is blatantly asking the Miami-Dade School Board to ignore the 18-hours of commentary, and comply with officials that have little stake in the community that such a decision affects. The Florida Department of Education needs to consider the needs of the district, and respect the wishes of the parents of the children going back to school.