ACPS Superintendent, board chair react to $160K+ FDOE sanction

ACPS Superintendent, board chair react to $160K+ FDOE sanction
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:34 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Monthly sanctions from the Florida Department of Education for the Alachua County School district started with docking each school board member’s salary at around $16,000. With the latest FLDOE order, the sanction jumped to more than $160,000 for October alone.”

“We don’t even have the funds and you’re taking the funds that’s going to impact students,” said Alachua County School Board Chair, Dr. Leanetta McNealy.

Since August, the district has been sanctioned around $16,000 by FDOE for its mask policy that doesn’t allow parents to opt their student out of the district’s mask mandate.

RELATED STORY: Alachua County School Board allows mask opt-outs for high school students, masks still required for K-8th

“But there are ways that we are going to be able to maintain our system in our district but if it continues and continues and continues to happen then I worry.”

The FDOE order includes a sanction for federal funds received from Project SAFE grant money. The amount totals more than $140,000.

RELATED STORY: TV20 EXCLUSIVE: White House Senior official explains new federal “Project SAFE”

“The thing that does concern me is you know, what is the next step?” said ACPS Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon. She said she told Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran the district has yet to receive any federal grant money but mentioned the deficit won’t diminish education in the district.

“You know, we are starting to see COVID is declining. We’re hoping it’s heading in the right direction,” added Simon. “It feels like it is and I think at some point our mask mandate will be changing to have the parental option in the near future and so we will be able to lean much more into education.”

Simon said the solution starts with securing those federal funds.

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