Florida withholds money from schools for mask warrants

The Florida Department of Education withheld funds from two school districts that made masks mandatory in classrooms this fall, state of...


The Florida Department of Education withheld funds from two school districts that made masks mandatory in classrooms this fall, state officials said on Monday, carrying out a threat that local school boards required students wearing masks would be financially punished.

The announcement is the latest twist in a political fight over hiding in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, issued a ban on masks at school in July, to be rejected by a judge last week.

Richard Corcoran, the state’s education commissioner, said in a statement that the department will fight to protect the rights of parents to make health care decisions for their children, adding: “They know this. which is best for their children.

The sanction applies to two school districts – Alachua County and Broward County – which have imposed mask warrants in defiance of the governor’s order.

The ministry said it would withhold a monthly amount equal to the salaries of school board members. In Alachua County, members earn about $ 40,000 a year, and in Broward County about $ 46,000, according to the state legislature. Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

However, since the state does not pay the salaries of local civil servants, it cannot withhold them directly. Mr. Corcoran had said previously that he could recommend withholding funds “in an amount equal to the salaries of the superintendent and all members of the school board”.

On Monday, his ministry said counties were ordered to cut school board pay – and nothing else.

But the practical effect of this remains uncertain. The Biden administration has said any school district deprived of state funding due to a backlash from pandemic precautions could use federal stimulus funds to make up the difference.

In a statement, Broward County Public Schools said they will continue to enforce their mask mandate for now.

Alachua County school officials expected the district to lose about $ 13,400 per month, the equivalent of the salaries of four school board members who voted for a mask term.

“I am very disturbed by the action of the state,” Carlee Simon, superintendent of public schools in Alachua County, said in a statement. “The members of our school board made the courageous decision to protect the health and lives of the students, staff and residents of this community, and a court has already ruled that they have the right to do so. They deserve praise, not sanctions.

The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Florida knows the worst coronavirus outbreak in the country. Over the past seven days, more than 16,000 people on average have been hospitalized each day, more than during any other period of the pandemic.

Last week a judge ruled against Governor DeSantis on the issue of school mask warrants, ruling that Florida school districts can impose warrants on students to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The judge also issued an injunction preventing the state’s education ministry from punishing local school boards.

The Education Ministry planned to appeal and announced on Monday that funding had been suspended.

Sanctions would continue monthly until school boards comply, the ministry said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Florida withholds money from schools for mask warrants
Florida withholds money from schools for mask warrants
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