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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at Florida State University on Aug. 11. Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

A Florida judge on Monday struck down an emergency order from the Florida Department of Education that would have required all schools to reopen for in-person learning this month, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Why it matters: Leon County Judge Charles Dodson ruled that Florida had "essentially ignored the requirement of school safety" in pushing to reopen schools and that the state's order overrode school boards' constitutional authority to make decisions for their school systems, per the Times.

What he's saying: "The districts have no meaningful alternative," Dodson wrote, according to the Times. "If an individual school district chooses safety, that is, delaying the start of schools until it individually determines it is safe to do so for its county, it risks losing state funding, even though every student is being taught.”

  • "An injunction in this case will allow local school boards to make safety determinations for the reopening of schools without financial penalty. This is what the local school boards were elected to do.”

The backdrop: The Florida Education Association and Orange County had filed lawsuits against the state in response to the July 6 emergency order.

  • Florida's confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded 600,000 on Sunday, but new infections fell on Monday to their lowest single-day total since June, according to the state's health department.

The other side: "Clearly the FEA hasn’t read nor understands the Florida Department of Education’s guidance, the Emergency Order No. 2020-EO-06, or Florida law," Taryn Fenske, communications director for the Florida Department of Education, emailed Axios in a statement in July, when the lawsuit was first announced.

  • "This E.O. 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," Fenske said.

What's next: Florida is expected to appeal the ruling, per the Times.

The Florida Department of Education and Miami-Dade County mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
20 hours ago - Health

Surge in coronavirus cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew

Health care workers at a testing site in San Francisco on Nov. 21. Photo: Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco will begin imposing a curfew Monday night after California moved the city to the state's most restrictive "purple" tier due to a surge in coronavirus cases, Mayor London Breed announced on Twitter Saturday.

Driving the news: Breed said the city is currently averaging 118 new cases per day compared to 73 per day in the first week of November. The mayor added that the city recorded 768 cases during the week of Nov. 16.

13 hours ago - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.