More fines could be coming to school districts across the state regarding mask mandates

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:12 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE/CAP NEWS Fla. (WCJB) - The letter from the US Department of Education comes in response to the state vowing to withhold additional money from school boards if they backfill their salaries with federal dollars.

Alachua Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon says her district never took the federal aid.

Dr. Carlee Simon Superintendent, Alachua County Schools

“But we are watching and in the event that we need to draw down funding from the federal government when we do, we will let the commissioner know.”

The letter threatens enforcement action, but the state isn’t backing down.

In a statement, the Florida Department of Education called the letter ‘legally hollow’ and said it would continue forward.

“Governor DeSantis is in the catbird seat.”

Chair of the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee Randy Fine says while it’s not clear exactly what the feds are threatening, he sees no reason for the state to worry.

“It ends when California and New York taxpayers pay for education in Florida, which I think would be an outstanding outcome and I hope President Biden

“The school masking debate is expected to enter the halls of the Capitol in an upcoming special session, and it’s a Republican State Senator from Alachua County who is leading the charge.”

Senator Kieth Perry’s bill would make any school mask mandate null and void.

Dr. Simon called the proposal shortsighted.

Dr. Carlee Simon Superintendent, Alachua County Schools

“Right now we’re talking about COVID. What about other future viruses that might come about?”

And Rep Fine told us beyond the legislation, school districts that fought the state over masking should expect additional punishment saying he doesn’t think they will have a good budget year.

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