DeSantis threatens to cut funding for school district that wants to delay reopening

The Republican’s administration told Hillsborough County — the eighth-largest system in the country — that it would lose state aid if it did not drop plans to reopen schools remotely for the first month of the 2020-2021 school year. So the county revised its plan and will start with just one week of remote learning. Then parents will choose whether to send their children into school buildings.

“It was very clear. If we do not follow their emergency order, we will be financially hindered,” Hillsborough Superintendent Addison Davis said Thursday. “We would forfeit close to $200 million. We just can’t do that. That would bankrupt us. It would put us in a terrible situation financially.”

DeSantis, a strong ally of President Trump, who wants schools opened, cited Martin County Superintendent Laurie Gaylord’s view of reopening schools as a mission “akin to a Navy SEAL operation.”

“Just as the SEALs surmounted obstacles to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, so, too, would the Martin County school system find a way to provide parents with a meaningful choice of in-person instruction or continued distance learning,” DeSantis said in a speech Wednesday.