Florida Gov. DeSantis plans to reopen public schools at 'full capacity' in August, arguing that the state's economy depends on it

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to a question at a news conference at the Urban League of Broward County, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Associated Press

  • Florida public schools will reopen in August at "full capacity," Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday, saying that keeping students at home would prevent Florida's economy from restarting because parents wouldn't be able to return to work.

  • In a 143-slide PowerPoint presentation, the governor laid out a plan for the upcoming school year that focuses on keeping students safe from the novel coronavirus and closing the achievement gap between rich and poor students, which experts think was widened by the pandemic.

  • DeSantis proposed that Florida's school districts could move students' desks as far away from one another as possible, stop students from sharing textbooks and toys, and develop a disinfection protocol to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Each school district will have the final say on its own social-distancing protocols, the governor said.

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is rising after the state began to reopen in early May.

  • Earlier in the pandemic, DeSantis was widely criticized for leaving beaches open to spring breakers.

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