The school districts in Broward and Alachua counties have upheld their mandatory face mask policies for students and staff.
Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced that the Florida Department of Education has withheld an amount equal to monthly school board member salaries in Alachua and Broward counties, as directed by the State Board of Education. Funds will continue to be withheld until the districts comply, Corcoran said.
Broward County Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright said in a statement that Broward County School Board believes they are in compliance with the law. “The health and safety of our students, teachers and staff continue to be our main priorities,” Cartwright said. “As such, BCPS (Broward County Public Schools) will continue to mandate masks, knowing the data shows they help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”
Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Carlee Simon said in a statement Tuesday she was “very troubled by the state’s action.” Late Monday, the Florida Department of Education announced it has started withholding the salaries of school board members in Broward and Alachua counties on a monthly basis for violating that state law regarding facial coverings for students.
The Palm Beach County School Board is scheduled to discuss the school district’s COVID-19 protocols for students and employees during a workshop on Wednesday. The governor’s office has said that Cooper’s decision wasn’t based on the law, and the state will appeal it.