Gov. Ron DeSantis reverses funding cut for school mask mandates
A dozen Florida school districts — including those in Palm Beach and Indian River counties — won’t lose funding after all.
The budget passed by the Florida legislature included a $200 million loss for school districts that ignored Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order banning mask mandates.
The loss of funding would have come from the School Recognition Fund which gives financial awards to schools that receive an ‘A’ grade or improve more than one letter grade on state assessments. The recognition program was amended to award school districts who did not enforce a mask mandate.
The $200-million cut from the districts who did have a mask mandate would've been dispersed among the state's other 55 school districts which did not.
Those districts include Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties.
In a letter to education commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., DeSantis instructed the Department of Education to ignore the decision and "reward eligible schools for their achievements, as districts' actions have no bearing on a school's eligibility."
The governor said compliance with the law by schools and not the districts is key in allocation of funds for the program. DeSantis added that districts have no lawful means to spend the funding.
Scripps Only Content 2022