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Distance learning leads to furloughs for some Florida school nurses

Palm Beach County offers buyouts to 60 employees

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – School nurses are being furloughed in Palm Beach County as the district prepares to open the school year with remote learning for all students.

The Palm Beach Health Care District informed the 223 school heath employees on Monday of the “difficult decision" to furlough them, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The reason cited was the school district's decision to go with distance learning when school resumes next month.

Last week, the health care district told employees that 60 of the most senior nurses and supervisors will be offered buyouts. They were given until the end of Monday to either take the buyout, or be furloughed, the newspaper reported.

“Once the school district releases its plan to return to school, the Health Care District will respond accordingly, including plans to staff the same number of public schools, nearly 170, with a full-time registered nurse,” the Health Care District said in a statement.

The health care district said nurses can cash in vacation and sick time and keep their health insurance if they pay the portion that had been deducted from their paychecks.

Some of the nurses may be able to pick up shifts at the district’s clinics, or called upon to work if hurricane shelters open, the company said.