Speed Reads

mask mandate meltdown

Florida Board of Education approves sanctioning school districts over mask mandates

Florida's Board of Education voted on Thursday to sanction eight school districts that imposed mask mandates without giving students the chance to opt out, saying they are defying an emergency rule set by the state's Department of Health.

The board's commissioner, Richard Corcoran, has requested that funds for the school districts in Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, and Palm Beach counties are withheld "in an amount equal to 1/12 of all school board members' salaries." He also wants to withhold any amount equal to federal grant funds awarded to the districts by the Biden administration, CNN reports.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has ordered that parents have the ability to opt their children out of having to wear face coverings. School leaders have argued that a universal mask mandate is the best way to curb the spread of the coronavirus, with Alachua County Superintendent Carlee Simon saying in a statement on Thursday she believes her district's masking protocols "comply with state law and our constitutional obligation to provide students with a safe learning environment."