Governor DeSantis has given Florida school districts that defied state rules and imposed mask mandates 48 hours to reverse course or lose state funding equal to the salaries of their school board members.
School boards in Broward and Alachua counties have both mandated masks in schools in defiance of an executive order issued by DeSantis that barred local officials from imposing mask mandates. “These are the initial consequences to their intentional refusal to follow state law and state rule to purposefully and willingly violate the rights of parents,” Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said in a statement.
Corcoran said in a letter that both Broward County and Alachua County must comply within 48 hours before both counties could face sanctions. “It is important to remember that this issue is about ensuring local school board members, elected politicians, follow the law. These public officials have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida. We cannot have government officials pick and choose what laws they want to follow,” Corcoran said [NBC].
“As an initial step, the Florida Department of Education will then begin to withhold from state funds, on a monthly basis, an amount equal to 1/12 of the total annual compensation of the school board members who voted to impose the unlawful mask mandates until each district demonstrates compliance,” the statement said [Yahoo News].
In a tweet, President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with the two school districts. “American Rescue Plan funds can be used to backfill the salaries of the brave Florida school board members, superintendents, and other educators keeping our children safe,” he wrote [Newsmax].
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