Top Three Takeaways – August 18th, 2021
- Getting schooled. Every school board member and every school superintendent have a duty to comply with the law, whether they agree with it or not. The words of Florida’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran when he recommended action be taken against the rebellious Broward and Alachua School Districts over their decisions to defy state law by mandating masks for students without parental choice. I mean it’s kind of hard to argue, isn’t it? What would happen in society if people only complied with laws they like? And this leads to the most instructive point. Therefore, how is that acceptable with local governments? The battle between Broward and Alachua’s school districts and the state isn’t as much about mask policy as it is about lawlessness. Are there laws that you don’t like? Are there consequences if you break them? Now, if you know what the laws are and you choose to break them anyway, that’s a personal decision with specific consequences. But when a school district chooses to break the law, that’s a whole other story given that its taxpayer funded. That’s every taxpayer’s business. And when a school district breaks a law that eliminates parental choice, there are punitive consequences for parents and students who agree with the World Health Organization’s assessment, that the negative effects of school children wearing a mask potentially outweigh the lth benefits of limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. Or the 13 studies posted to the National Institutes of Health’s website showing teachers teach less and students learn less with masks on (as well as a host of health-related issues some students experienced last year). And the point is two-fold. First, the state’s position is principled and rooted in accredited scientific research. Second, it’s the law. In the words of Corcoran: Every school board member and every school superintendent have a duty to comply with the law, whether they agree with it or not. This isn’t complicated. That’s why...
- It was unanimous. The decision by the Florida Board of Education to sanction both school districts. And their remedy wasn’t insignificant in its terminology. Citing that they’d take “all legal steps”, to ensure state law is followed. Those remedies include the potential to withhold funds from the districts, add additional reporting requirements and this whopper... The potential removal of officers. It was just on Monday I said this: There is one other dynamic that’s yet been discussed. And it’s one Broward specifically, with its history of failed leadership, is very familiar with. It’s within the governor’s purview to remove officials who violate the law – a la Brenda Snipes and Scott Israel. Could that happen here? We’ll have to wait and see as these school boards wanted showdowns and that’s exactly what they’re getting. If it were to go down that way Broward would set a record for the shortest-lived superintendent and as for the board. Well, that vote wasn’t unanimous. They’d have Lori Alhadeff, aka the voice of reason, left.
- Getting a boost could get complicated. Should the FDA finalize guidance, as expected, that COVID-19 booster shots should be obtained by the fully vaccinated eight months after their most recent vaccination we’ll have 328,346 Floridians due for boosters next month, as that’s the number of fully vaccinated through January. This as COVID-19 vaccinations haven’t been approved for those under 12 and Johnson & Johnson isn’t currently being considered for a booster – though they’re expected to submit for a two-dose schedule for consideration soon. That’s a lot of moving pieces with unanswered questions. Should Johnson & Johnson recipients wait past eight-months if there’s not another J&J vaccine made available, or should they switch? With recent studies pointing to Moderna’s superior efficacy, is it ok for others to switch even if not expected or specifically recommended? Are they going to recommend a traditional flu shot in conjunction with a COVID-19 booster? Are they safe to do at the same time? While we know the efficacy of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines against the Delta variants, what about the Lamda variant which is likely to be an issue this fall? It’s my hope that with the second wave of COVID-19 immunizations coming our way, there will be a new wave of information which will provide the answers to these questions. It’s also my hope there will be a more intentional and honest dissemination of information. It’s my belief they’ll be less hesitancy generally if they’re more transparent. I’m hoping the information flow will get a boost in advance of the boosters. We deserve answers to those questions.