Miami (AP) — Florida officials withhold funds equal to the salaries of school board members if the two county school districts do not immediately abolish strict masking obligations as the state continues to fight high hospitalization rates. Is threatening. Broward and Alachua school boards were warned by the state school board on Friday, giving all
Miami (AP) — Florida officials withhold funds equal to the salaries of school board members if the two county school districts do not immediately abolish strict masking obligations as the state continues to fight high hospitalization rates. Is threatening.
Broward and Alachua school boards were warned by the state school board on Friday, giving all students 48 hours to regain their decision to require masks, and only those with a doctor’s note. Exempted. Broward County has the second largest school district in the state.
“We can’t let government officials choose and choose the laws they want to follow,” Board of Education Richard Corcoran said in an email statement. “These are the first consequences of deliberately refusing to comply with state laws and regulations to deliberately and willingly infringe parental rights.”
Corcoran said the two districts violated the Parents’ Bill of Rights and an executive order by Governor Rondesantis in late July.
The Republican governor demanded that the school district not require masks for all students and ordered the state health and education department to devise rules for parents to choose. Corcoran was nominated for a post by DeSantis and appointed by the State Board of Education in 2019.
DeSantis argues that masks can be detrimental to a child’s development and that younger children simply do not wear the mask properly. However, board members in Broward County, home of Fort Lauderdale and Alachua County, home of Gainesville, were able to easily delegate their parents as the surge in cases fueled by the Delta variant began to burden hospitals. We have decided not to opt out.
According to a weekly report from the Florida Department of Health, Florida has surpassed a total of 3 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic on Friday. In addition, 1,486 new deaths were reported in a week, significantly increasing the 7-day average of reported daily deaths in the past week from 153 to 212.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reported that the COVID-19 hospital had 16,849 people, of whom 3,500 were in the intensive care unit.
The other two school districts initially started their school year to make it easier for parents to opt out of wearing masks, but this week we’ve stepped up our efforts. In addition, the Board of Education in Miami-Dade County’s largest district has adopted a policy of only allowing exemptions from masks with doctor’s notes.
Due to the size of the school district’s budget, reductions are more symbolic than harmful. Members of the Alachua County Board of Education earn $ 40,000 annually and Broward County earn $ 46,000, according to the State Legislature’s Bureau of Economic and Demographic Research. Alachua has approximately 30,000 students and a $ 258 million general funding budget. Broward County has approximately 30,000 students and a $ 2.7 billion general funding budget.
Corcoran’s order requires the school district to provide information on the compensation of school board members who voted to impose strict obligations if they do not immediately revoke the decision. It also outlines the beginning of withholding the equivalent of monthly salaries from state funds, stating that districts are prohibited from cutting funds in other areas such as teacher salaries and student services.
US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona spoke with supervisors of the two school districts on Friday, saying the Biden administration supported their decision to adapt their policies based on the CDC’s recommendations. He added that the Federal Pandemic Relief Fund should be used to supplement economic sanctions.
“It’s very annoying to see state leaders prioritize politics over student health and security,” he said in a statement. “The president asked me to do everything I can to protect the students in our country and to support the local leaders who are fighting for them.”
DeSantis attacked the Biden administration’s response, calling it “absolutely ridiculous” and the government’s “overkill.”
“To the federal government come in and revoke their rights as if they knew better?” DeSantis said at a press conference on Friday. “They want to kneel their parents and empower the teachers union.”
Broward Board of Education President Rosalind Osgood upheld the board’s decision, saying the governor “beyond his authority.” In a statement, she said the district had asked lawyers to investigate legal issues and would respond to Friday’s order within 48 hours upon request.
“The Florida Constitution empowers the local school board to develop policies that govern local school districts,” Osgood said.
It is unclear what will happen with state funding if the judge decides to block DeSantis’ order on the mask. On Thursday, a state judge paved the way for a three-day trial next week with a proceeding from parents disagreeing with DeSantis. The lawyer in the proceedings said these decisions should be left to the local school board.
In asking the judge to dismiss the proceedings, the governor’s lawyer argued that the governor’s order merely upheld the law giving parents the right to make medical decisions. The law does not specifically mention masks.
On Friday, the Southern Poverty Law Center appealed to the Florida Court of Appeals to revoke some of the rules that schools must allow parents to opt out of mask requirements.
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