Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable conversation Wednesday at Paul B. Stephens School in Clearwater.
The governor, along with Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, staff from Paul B. Stephens, and parents talked about COVID-19 and the upcoming school year.
The governor said parents should have the choice of whether they want to send their kids to school for in-person learning or have them start with distance learning.
“We’re not going to force parents to put their child in in-person instruction,” DeSantis said.
While DeSantis believes parents should have the option, he’s made it clear he believes the best option is for students to return to the classroom this fall.
“Many students will suffer academic, physical, and mental health consequences if not back in the classroom,” he said.
He also said if his kids were school-aged, he would have no problems sending them back to school.
While it’s unknown what the exact percentage of students will be back in classrooms compared to online distance learning, Commissioner Corcoran said he believes anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of families will choose in-person learning.