State looks to close book on school reopening fight

Trying to end months of legal wrangling, the state is urging an appeals court to keep in place a decision that backed Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in a fight about reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorneys for DeSantis and Corcoran filed documents late Tuesday asking the 1st District Court of Appeal to deny requests by the Florida Education Association teachers union and other plaintiffs for a rehearing in the high-profile case.

The plaintiffs last month sought a rehearing after a three-judge panel of the appeals court overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that said Corcoran violated the Florida Constitution when he issued a July order aimed at reopening schools. The plaintiffs filed two similar motions asking for a rehearing by the three-judge panel or by the full appeals court, a request known as seeking an “en banc” hearing.

But in the documents filed Tuesday, attorneys for DeSantis and Corcoran contended that the plaintiffs had not offered grounds to justify a rehearing in the case. The plaintiffs have contended that Corcoran’s July order violated a constitutional guarantee of “safe” and “secure” public education.

Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson agreed with the plaintiffs and issued a temporary

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