The government of Florida Withdrawn funds from two school districts that imposed the use of masks in their establishments to stop COVID infections, claiming that this measure violates the law, state authorities announced this Monday.
“We are going to fight to protect the right of parents to make decisions about the health care of their children,” said State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in a statement.
The sanctioned districts, in Alachua and Broward counties, will no longer receive funds equivalent to the monthly salary of the members of their boards of directors, the official said.
The decision is the latest episode in a dispute over masks between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and school districts as the state’s pandemic rebounds.
DeSantis signed an executive order on July 30 to prevent schools from imposing face masks, but several districts ignored that law and went ahead with their plans.
On Friday, a Florida judge ruled that school districts could force their students and staff to wear face masks, dealing a blow to the Republican governor.
The magistrate also prevented the state government from punishing those who violated DeSantis’ order.
That did not prevent the announcement by the Department of Education, which 10 days ago had threatened to sanction the districts of Alachua and Broward for not following the law.
Now it remains to be seen if the punishment is applied.
Not only do school districts have a court decision in their favor, but they also have the support of US President Joe Biden, who was highly critical of DeSantis’ management during the pandemic.
A few days ago, the Democratic president promised to use a federal fund “to cover the salaries of the brave members of the Florida school board, superintendents and other educators who keep” children safe.
Since the beginning of the school year in several Florida counties, thousands of students had to remain in quarantine after being infected or being in contact with COVID-19 patients.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.