Private Colleges Eye COVID-19 Liability, Testing Concerns

18 hours ago
University of Miami campus
Howard Cohen / Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE --- As private colleges and universities set plans to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of a statewide association is raising concerns about liability protections and virus testing costs.

Whether institutions can be held liable for students, faculty and staff members getting sick on campus is a top concern for school leaders as they gear up to reopen campuses for the fall term.


When the city of Miami was established in 1896, there were 367 people who voted to make Miami a reality. Of those people, 162 of them were Black residents. And the first name on the charter of the city was that of Silas Austin, a Black man.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush
Mark J. Terrill / AP

Florida education officials canceled state exams this spring as public schools shifted abruptly online at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush doesn’t want to see that happen again. He argued state testing is crucial to make sure students are receiving an equitable education, regardless of their families' income.

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho
Sebastian Ballestas / Miami Herald

In a long-awaited and much anticipated decision, Miami-Dade County Public Schools will start the school year remotely and at a later date of Monday, Aug. 31.

Pasco County, Florida classroom
Pasco County Schools/flickr

TALLAHASSEE --- As school officials across Florida continue grappling with reopening classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a major group of pediatricians Wednesday released recommendations aimed at reducing risks to children and teachers.

BRYAN CEREIJO / Miami Herald

On this Tuesday, July 28, episode of Sundial:


Rebranding Miami Beach


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Miami Beach’s party scene is quiet. Bars, nightclubs, and tourist attractions have remained closed throughout the pandemic.

The head of a powerful national teachers union told members Tuesday that its leadership would support "safety strikes" if health precautions are not met amid calls for schools to reopen as coronavirus cases surge.

Randi Weingarten, who leads the American Federation of Teachers, is leaving the final decision to local unions on whether to strike. The AFT — the nation's second-largest teachers union, with 1.7 million members — also unveiled several benchmarks that it said should be met before schools can fully welcome back students and staff.


When teachers and students go back to school, most of them will login from home.


In March, school quickly moved online as buildings closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now, with the next school year a few weeks away, classes for most students and teachers will start the same way they ended in the spring — online.

Wayne Banks is a middle school math teacher and principal in residence for KIPP charter schools. These days, like many teachers around the country, the 29-year-old is working from his apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

Banks has never been formally trained to teach online, but that hasn't stopped him from trying to make his classes as engaging and challenging as possible.

"I really took the opportunity in March to be like, 'I just have to figure this out.' [It was] a do or die for me," Banks says.

Faculty Union Calls For Online Classes In Colleges, Universities

Jul 27, 2020
University of Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida’s largest faculty union Monday called on Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials to order higher-education institutions to use remote learning through the fall. 

The push to keep university and college campuses closed during the fall semester, amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, adds another pressure point on the Republican governor, who is increasingly facing criticism for how he has reopened the state.

Trump Mirrors DeSantis Stance On Reopening Schools

Jul 24, 2020

President Donald Trump on Thursday said school districts in states and cities that are considered COVID-19 hotspots should delay reopening schools “for a few weeks” but emphasized that campuses should reopen for the fall term. Trump added that he is asking Congress to provide $105 billion to schools as part of the next coronavirus-relief bill to help them reopen safely.