TAMPA (WFLA) – Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran spoke at President Trump’s Kids First event, getting America’s children safely back to school.
Corcoran at the event stated that Florida has the largest virtual school in the country but referred to virtual school as a “second-tier education”
“The best education is when you got a great teacher, a great mentor, someone who’s got great wisdom, all the peers together getting a great education,” Corcoran said.
President Trump responded to Corcoran saying “one thing we’ve learned during this horror show… is that virtual learning is just not as good as being in school, but “we’ve also learned that telehealth is very good.”
During a roundtable discussion on education in Riverview Monday afternoon, Gov. DeSantis and Corcoran stressed the importance of giving parents options but also leaving local decisions up to districts.
“Here in the State of Florida, we really believe in empowering parents to having a choice about the upcoming school year,” Gov. DeSantis said. “There are going to be some parents who prefer to remain in distance learning, and they have the right to do that. There’s a lot of parents who really want their kids to have an opportunity to get back to in-person instruction.”
Most districts in the Tampa Bay area have offered parents options to either send their children back for in-person learning or keep their kids home to continue virtual learning. Most school districts in the area have also pushed back the first day of school.
The commissioner spoke openly about his “grave concerns.”
“You know what teachers want? Teachers want to be back in the classroom with their kids, even if they have an underlying condition, they want to be back,” he said.
He also spoke briefly about lawsuits filed against the state regarding brick-and-mortar learning. “This is just, I think it’s a side show. I couldn’t even begin to offer a legitimate rationale for the the litigation,” he said.
Last week, the school board of Hillsborough County Public Schools – the third-largest district in Florida – voted to start school with four weeks of online learning. The next day, however, Corcoran sent the school board a letter rebuking that plan, essentially forcing the school district to pump the brakes.
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