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Florida Sen. Rick Scott says his grandchildren will start 'distance learning'

Several school districts across Florida are delaying the start of the school year because of increasing COVID-19 cases and concern over safety.
Credit: AP
Senator Rick Scott File Photo (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida Sen. Rick Scott asserted parents need to be given a choice whether their children should return to in-person learning amid the COIVD-19 pandemic.

His grandchildren, Scott said Tuesday, will be "distance learning" in the meantime to ensure their safety.

"You ought to give parents as many choices as possible," said Scott on Fox Business' "Varney and Co." "My daughters are going to be more focused on, you know, distance learning right now to make sure their children are safe. 

"But I know other parents are going to want to make sure their children are back in the classroom."

The debate over whether children should go back to in-person schooling took a new turn this week when the state's largest teachers union, the Florida Education Associated, sued Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education following the department's emergency order to reopen physical school classrooms five days a week in August.

Speaking on NBC's "Today" on Tuesday, FEA President Fedrick Ingram said, "We don't want to be the petri dish for America. In fact, we need a survival kit."

The Florida Department of Education responded to the lawsuit, in part, the FEA "hasn't read nor understands the ... guidance (and) emergency order."

"This (executive order) did not order any new directives regarding the requirements of schools to be open, it simply created new innovative options for families to have the CHOICE to decide what works best for the health and safety of their student and family," its statement reads. 

"Additionally, the order created guaranteed funding for districts and schools to educate innovatively, as long as they continue to provide all students, especially at-risk students, with a world-class education, no matter what option they choose."

School districts across Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, have decided to delay the official start of school.

RELATED: Florida teachers union on schools reopening: 'We don't want to be the petri dish for America'

RELATED: Florida Education Association sues to stop emergency order that would reopen classrooms

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