Florida enlists more sanctions against school districts asking to wear masks in schools

The CDC maintains that the use of masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC maintains that the use of masks helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Photo: ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

The Florida Board of Education sanction eight school districts that have instituted mask mandates to prevent the spread of coronavirus, without giving parents the possibility of excluding their children from the mandate.

The state board said school districts in Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties were not in compliance and were in direct violation an emergency rule from the Florida Department of Health.

As a penalty, Florida Board of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has requested that funds for each district be withheld “in an amount equal to 1/12 of the salaries of all members of the school board,” in addition to withhold any amount equal to federal grant funds awarded to those districts by the president’s administration Joe biden.

“Although the outcome of the meeting was expected, it is still disappointing. Once the official order is received, we will send a response to the state, ”wrote the superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools on Twitter, Alberto carvalho.

The fight against the Florida rule that leaves exclusively in the hands of parents whether or not their children wear masks to school It began with the start of the new school year at the end of August, which coincided with a rebound in the incidence of covid-19 in Florida.

Even today it is still the state with the most deaths from Covid-19 in the last 28 days (more than 8,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to school districts, parents of students and civil organizations have responded to the rule with lawsuits in court, which have not yet been definitively resolved.

The federal Department of Education, for its part, opened an investigation to determine if this rule violates the rights of students most vulnerable to contagion.

The government of the president Biden It has also taken sides with the rebellious school districts helping with subsidies to two Florida counties, Alachua and Broward, to which the sanction for forcing the use of face masks was first applied and it is expected that the case of the new sanctioned ones will also do so. .

The Governor of Florida, the Republican Ron DeSantis, is contrary to the mandatory use of masks in any setting, not only in public schools, because in his opinion they do not work against the virus that causes covid-19.

Nor is he in favor of requiring vaccination certificates or “passports” and it has expressly prohibited it by law, which has also sparked protests and lawsuits.

In approving the new sanctions on Thursday, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran criticized the Biden administration for trying to “neutralize, nullify and abolish” the authority of the State Board of Education.

“Floridians should be offended by the use of federal taxes to enforce Florida laws,” he added.

Carvalho, superintendent of the Miami-Dade School District, which has 392 schools, 345,000 students and more than 40,000 employees, affirmed at the meeting held this Thursday that the application of the rule that restricts the use of masks to the authorization of the Parents, you should delay until the incidence of the disease actually falls.


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