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LEON COUNTY, Fla. – A judge in Florida sided Monday with educators arguing that an emergency order issued by state officials which requires schools to open for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic is unconstitutional, according to WFTV and WJAX-TV.

State officials have appealed the ruling, putting a temporary injunction issued by Leon County Judge Charles Dodson on hold, according to The Associated Press.

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order last week requiring schools to be open at least five days per week for all students in August, “subject to advice and orders” given by the Department of Health and local health departments, or face the risk of losing state funding, WFTV reported. In his ruling Monday, Dodson said that with its order, the state has “essentially ignored the requirement of school safety” and improperly overruled local officials who have the authority to determine how schools operate.

“(State officials) arbitrarily prioritized reopening schools statewide in August over safety and the advice of health experts; and all school districts complied in order to avoid a drastic loss of State funding,” Dodson wrote Monday in an order granting a temporary injunction to block the measure.

“The Order is unconstitutional to the extent it arbitrarily disregards safety, denies local school boards decision making with respect to reopening brick and mortar schools, and conditions funding on an approved reopening plan with a start date in August.”

Officials with the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, brought the lawsuit against the state, arguing that officials were ignoring the Constitution’s guarantee of safe education, WJAX-TV reported. Attorneys representing Gov. Ron DeSantis and Corcoran said the state is required to provide high-quality education to students, which means classes must be held in-person, according to the news station.

In a statement obtained by the AP, Corcoran said he was confident that an appellate court will side with the government over the issue of reopening schools.

“The fight has been, and will continue to be, about giving every parent, every teacher and every student a choice, regardless of what educational option they choose,” Corcoran said. He added that 1.6 million of the state’s 2.9 million students in public schools had already returned to classrooms.

As of Tuesday, more than 605,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported across Florida, resulting in 10,580 deaths.

The United States leads the world with the most coronavirus cases and the highest death toll. Since the start of the pandemic, officials have confirmed more than 5.7 million infections and reported more than 177,000 deaths nationwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 23.6 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide and more than 814,000 people have died of the viral infection, according to Johns Hopkins.