Top Line

The Florida State Board of Education voted Thursday to withdraw funding from eight school districts that have imposed mask mandates on them in violation of a state-level ban—and to help those districts through federal grants. The Education Department went on to thwart the plan. Make up for lost money.

important facts

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The board accepted Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s recommendations to withhold state funds in an amount equal to the salaries of school board members – as it has already done for many districts – as well as the district. funds equal to any amount received in federal grants due to its masks. Government Order.

Only two districts, in Alachua and Broward counties, have already been awarded federal funding, but the board’s punishment also applies to schools that have not yet received federal grant money, if they do receive it in the future.

The US Department of Education has set up a new grant program called Project Safe to help schools that have been penalized by their state government for COVID-19 mitigation measures such as mask mandates.

During a meeting of the Florida State Board of Education on Thursday, officials for school districts argued that they are in compliance with state law because the districts provided certain exceptions, such as medical exemptions, as well as provisions that would help prevent COVID-19. Let’s loosen the orders of the masks when they happen. Transmission is falling in the district.

Board Has taken back Vote on three school districts that were initially considered for punishment—Hillsboro, Sarasota and Indian River counties—because those counties have loosened their mask policies and are now in line with state policy.

important quotes

“If the federal government backfills or buys out school districts with grants, this board’s enforcement authority is nullified, repealed and terminated,” Corcoran said during a board meeting Thursday, adding that federal grants “encourage” schools. to “violate the law of the state”. “Floridians should be outraged by the Biden administration’s use of federal taxes in an effort to make Florida’s laws so ineffective.”

chief critic

US Department of Education spokeswoman Rachel Thomas said in a statement Businesshala Thursday’s vote comes ahead of whether Corcoran’s recommendation to scrap federal grant money is “deeply disturbing” and that state leaders’ efforts to punish schools are “abandoning” their duty to “keep children safe.”

main background

Florida is one of at least 10 states that ban or prohibit school mask mandates, though many of those measures have now been struck down in court, at least temporarily. Several studies have shown that masks are mandatory in schools to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Florida’s policy has been one of the most controversial, as the new school year began with a massive Covid-19 surge in the state, ranked among the worst in the world. The number of new daily cases in Florida is now go down, but the schools in the state have already faced Covid-19 the outbreakhandjob Death between staff members and in some cases had to Step for virtual learning.

what to see

Several lawsuits targeting Florida’s school mask mandate ban are still pending and policy could be affected as a result. A judge temporarily struck down the policy, saying the ban did not comply with state law, but an appeals court reinstated it while the legal challenge lays out. Six Florida counties filed another with school mask mandates court case against the state on Wednesday challenging the state’s rule-making process and arguing that it should not be able to make rules regarding “parental rights”. The US Department of Education is investigating school mask mandate bans in Florida and other states to determine whether those policies violate the civil rights of students with disabilities.

tangent line

Arizona has penalized schools financially by withholding federal funding from schools with orders for masks. The US Treasury Department has ordered government Doug Ducey to provide federal funding to those schools, however, and Arizona’s school mask mandate ban has been lifted in court.

Florida school mask wars heat up: Commissioner wants to punish schools that fund Biden plan (Businesshala)

Biden administration punishes Florida schools for imposing mask mandates against state rules (Businesshala)

Broward school district gets federal money to pay for money withheld on masks by the state (Miami Herald)

Florida won’t penalize Hillsborough, Sarasota school districts over updated mask rules (WTSP)