Florida Withholds Money From Schools Over Mask Mandates

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U.S.|Florida withholds wealth from schoolhouse districts implicit disguise mandates.


Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida banned disguise  mandates successful  schools, successful  what helium  described arsenic  an effort   to sphere  the rights of parents. 
Credit...Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

Sarah Mervosh

  • Aug. 30, 2021, 7:41 p.m. ET

The Florida Department of Education has withheld funds from 2 schoolhouse districts that made masks mandatory successful classrooms this fall, authorities officials announced connected Monday, making bully connected a menace that section schoolhouse boards that required students to deterioration masks would beryllium punished financially.

The announcement is the latest twist successful a political combat implicit masking successful Florida, wherever Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, issued a ban connected masks successful schoolhouse successful July, lone to beryllium swatted backmost by a justice past week.

“We’re going to combat to support parent’s rights to marque wellness attraction decisions for their children,” Richard Corcoran, the authorities acquisition commissioner, said successful a statement. “They cognize what is champion for their children.”

The punishment applies to 2 schoolhouse districts — Alachua County and Broward County — that went up with disguise mandates successful defiance of the governor’s order.

It was not instantly wide however overmuch wealth had been withheld, oregon which backing had been affected.

The section had indicated that it would withhold a monthly magnitude equivalent to schoolhouse committee members’ salaries. In Alachua County, members marque astir $40,000 a year, and successful Broward County they marque astir $46,000, according to the authorities legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

However, due to the fact that the authorities does not wage the salaries of section officials, it cannot withhold the salaries directly. Mr. Corcoran had previously said that helium whitethorn urge withholding funds “in an magnitude adjacent to the salaries of the superintendent and each the members of the schoolhouse board.”

On Monday, his section said that the counties had been instructed to chopped schoolhouse committee compensation — and thing else.

But the applicable effect of that remains unclear. The Biden medication has advised that immoderate schoolhouse territory that is stripped of authorities backing due to the fact that of a backlash to pandemic precautions could use national stimulus funds to marque up the difference.

The Florida Department of Education and the schoolhouse districts did not instantly respond to requests for comment.

Florida is experiencing the worst outbreak of the coronavirus successful the nation. Over the past 7 days, an mean of much than 16,000 radical person been hospitalized each day, much than during immoderate different play successful the pandemic.

Last week, a justice ruled against Governor DeSantis, ruling that Florida’s schoolhouse districts whitethorn impose mask mandates connected students to curb the dispersed of the coronavirus. The justice besides issued an injunction blocking the state’s Department of Education from punishing section schoolhouse boards.

The Department of Education planned to appeal, and connected Monday announced that backing had been withheld.

The penalties would proceed monthly until the schoolhouse boards comply, the section said.

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