After two days of witness testimony, closing arguments in the temporary injunction hearing in the Florida Education Association v. Gov. Ron DeSantis were presented Friday, bringing the virtual court proceeding to a close.
Florida Judge Charles Dodson instructed the parties in the case to provide him with briefs, no more than 15 pages long, by 5 p.m. today.
The details of the case: The lawsuit was filed on July 20 by the FEA, the largest teacher’s union in Florida, in an effort to stop the implementation of the emergency order issued by Florida’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, which requires school districts to reopen for in-person instruction five days a week.
The FEA argued that the emergency order is “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore in violation of the state’s constitution. The teachers union said the decision to reopen schools safely should be up to local school boards and should not be arbitrarily made by the governor and the education commissioner, who decided that all schools should be ready to reopen by Aug. 31.
They also said that the reopening time-table should be based on recommendations by medical experts, who say the positivity rate should be 5% or lower and no county in Florida has less than 5% positivity rate. Not following the emergency order, the FEA argued, results in losing funding.
Attorneys representing DeSantis agreed that “there’s no question” that failing to follow the emergency order results in a reduction of funding.
The governor’s lawyers went on to argue that the governor and the state’s education commissioner have a duty, under the Florida constitution, to provide students with a high quality education.
What's next: Dodson said yesterday, he plans to review the briefs over the weekend and make a ruling early next week.