Feds Pay First Florida School District For COVID-19 Mask Mandate

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GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami/AP/NSF) – Florida’s Alachua County School Board has received astir $150,000 from President Joe Biden’s medication to marque up for authorities wage cuts imposed implicit a board’s ballot for a pupil anti-coronavirus disguise mandate.

Alachua County schoolhouse Superintendent Carlee Simon said successful a quality merchandise Thursday the territory has received $148,000 done a U.S. Department of Education assistance programme called Project SAFE, oregon Project to Support America’s Families and Educators.

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Simon says Alachua, wherever Gainesville and the University of Florida are located, is the archetypal territory successful the federation to person specified a grant.

“We should beryllium thanking districts for utilizing proven strategies that volition support schools unfastened and safe, not punishing them. We basal with the dedicated educators successful Alachua and crossed the state doing the close happening to support their schoolhouse communities, and with today’s first-ever grant nether Project SAFE, we are further enabling educators to proceed that captious work,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said successful a prepared statement.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and authorities acquisition officials person begun cutting salaries paid to schoolhouse committee members successful Alachua and Broward County schoolhouse districts who voted to necessitate masks for students. DeSantis favors allowing parents to determine whether their children deterioration look coverings and is successful the midst of tribunal battles implicit this broader issue.

In Alachua County, the wage reductions truthful acold for 4 schoolhouse committee members who voted for the disguise mandate amounted to $27,000, Simon said.

“With these grants, we’re making definite schools and communities crossed the state that are committed to safely returning to in-person learning cognize that we person their backs,” said Cardona.

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About a twelve schoolhouse boards successful Florida, including Miami-Dade and Broward counties, person voted to defy the authorities prohibition connected disguise mandates contempt the DeSantis determination to withhold immoderate of their funding.

DeSantis’ enforcement bid connected masks has spurred ineligible challenges. One lawsuit, filed by a radical of parents, is awaiting a hearing astatine the 1st District Court of Appeal, aft a Leon County circuit justice ruled that DeSantis overstepped his law authorization successful the order.

While the national authorities looks to prime up the tab for schoolhouse districts getting dinged financially, the authorities Department of Health connected Wednesday tightened a regularisation regarding masks successful schools.

The Department of Health issued a revised regularisation that says opting retired of disguise requirements is “at the genitor oregon ineligible guardian’s sole discretion.” That alteration is targeted astatine districts, specified arsenic Alachua, that person required doctors’ notes to opt retired of disguise mandates.

The Alachua schoolhouse territory plans to support its pupil disguise request successful spot careless of the state’s updated rule.

“At this point, we are maintaining our existent protocols,” according to territory spokeswoman Jackie Johnson.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

CBSMiami.com Team

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