Fla. to withhold funding if local school boards maintain unlawful mask orders

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA - AUGUST 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives for a ceremony to present bonus checks to first responders held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on August 10, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. DeSantis gave out some of the $1,000 checks that the Florida state budget passed for both first responders and teachers across the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – AUGUST 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis arrives for a ceremony to present bonus checks to first responders held at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside on August 10, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 1:41 PM PT – Saturday, August 21, 2021

Florida’s Board of Education has given two school districts 48 hours to comply with the parent-opt-out of local mask mandates. On Friday, the agency released a statement condemning the school boards of Alachua and Broward counties for “a blatant violation of the Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

Both counties have instituted mask requirements for all students and staff, regardless of their vaccination status. In June, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the Parents’ Bill of Rights, giving parents the ability to disregard local mask ordinances for their children in public schools.

“It is important to remember that this issue is about ensuring local school board members, elected politicians, follow the law,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “These are the initial consequences to their intentional refusal to follow state law and state rule to purposefully and willingly violate the rights of parents.”

After the 48 hours, the state is expected to withhold funds proportionally to the number of school board members who voted to impose the unlawful mask mandates on the children.

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