Florida School Board OKs Funding Cuts, Sanctions for Schools Defying Mask Mandate Ban
The state of Florida school board has announced that 10 districts will be facing possible sanctions and funding cuts if they do not follow the mask mandate ban in schools.
The Florida State Board of Education said that the school district would see their funding cut in amounts that are equal to their respective board members' salaries, according to a Newsweek report.
The BOE stated that the school districts have 48 hours to comply with the demands before the sanctions and funding cuts start. It was decided in an emergency meeting, where it was told the school districts must follow state guidelines.
Richard Cocoran, the Florida Education Commissioner, initially proposed sanctions against the districts as a way to get them to follow the state guidelines.
The offending school boards were Alachua, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, and Indian River. The school board of Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Sarasota were also included, according to a Washington Examiner report.
Mask Mandate Ban
State guidelines noted that the wearing of masks of students in Florida schools should depend on the decision of each students' parents.
The guidelines were released after the Florida surgeon general's announcement that parents should be fully be allowed to decide whether or not children should quarantine once exposed to the virus.
Both of the guidelines contradict the health recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna said during the BOE meeting that they are in complete support of parents having individual rights and freedoms.
The school officials noted that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to mask mandate and support on the sanctions will hinder the state's efforts to fight the rising COVID cases.
The U.S. Department of Educations announced in September that it would grant Project SAFE programs to school districts being financially penalized by the state.
Alachua already received $147,000 while Broward had been granted more than $420,000 in federal compensation for the state's actions.
Lawsuit Challenging Florida Mask Mandate Ban
Meanwhile, the Duval County School Board is suing the state of Florida on COVID safety restrictions.
Duval was joined by other five school districts, such as Miami-Dade, Leon, Orange, Broward, and Alachua, according to a Jacksonville News report.
The lawsuit came before the state school board meeting.
The Duval School Board had voted to give its general counsel the ability to explore or move forward with the legal action against the state guidance.
Board members Charlotte Joyce, Lori Hershey, and Cindy Pearson voted against the motion.
Jamie Cole, the attorney representing the six districts, said that the districts are challenging the Department of Health's ability to issue rules over parental rights.
Cole said that the Department of Health is supposed to only deal with health issues.
Corcoran said that should the federal government's efforts stray from justice to deter parental rights or lawful speech, they should be ready for a swift response.
Corcoran was referring to the U.S. Education department's Project SAFE grant.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: The showdown over Covid mandates in Florida - from BBC News
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