FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addressed concerns from teachers who say they need to stay home as coronavirus cases continue to rise in South Florida.

At a news conference on Friday, Runcie said the district is trying to accommodate the teachers’ request.

“As of this morning, our schools have granted over 600 remote work assignments based on operational needs,” he said.

That means BCPS is allowing at least 600 teachers to continue working from home next week.

Those accommodations were set to expire for abut 1,700 educators.

Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Unon, said 600 is not enough.

“That still doesn’t resolve that we have 1,600 that were considered with the most health concerns,” she said.

This week, the union filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order the remote work to be allowed to continue.

Runcie said the pandemic has taken a toll on far too many students.

“Remote learning is working for some students, but for far too many, it is not working at all, and we have got to do better,” he said.

To do that, Runcie said, teachers need to be in classrooms.

“We can no longer continue to warehouse our students in cafeterias, gymnasiums and media centers while teachers are at home,” he said.

Officials said it is now up to the principals to determine whether or not their schools have the capacity to allow remote learning to continue.

Meanwhile, Runcie said, the school district is taking steps to keep classrooms safe.

“We have determined that our schools are not sources of secondary transmission of the coronavirus,” he said.

The superintendent said he is also pushing for teachers to be at the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines.

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