Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banned mask mandates for schools. Still, some school districts sought to openly flaunt the rule of law by instituting their own mask mandates, provoking DeSantis to take action on Friday and give them 48 hours to rescind their mask mandates or face being stripped of funding. Now, the school districts have just over one day to respond.
On Friday, DeSantis gave the first two school districts flaunting the rule of law 48 hours to reverse course and drop their controversial mask mandates. Now, almost a day later, these schools have continued to defy the Florida governor and have just over one day to stop breaking the law. At present, it appears these school districts have yet to comply.
Should they refuse, “The Florida Department of Education said it will then start gradually withholding state funds – equal to 1/12 of the salaries of the school board members, monthly – ‘until each district demonstrates compliance,’” per a statement released to the media.
To make the order more punishing for the school board members who made the unscientific decision to mask children, the order prohibits the lack of funding from impacting “student services or teacher pay” and will instead directly take money meant to pay those behind the decision.
Earlier this month, DeSantis announced a policy that would allow parents to remove their children – and their taxpayer funding – from these school districts and instead send them to private schools who do not require masks in violation of Florida law with a voucher representing the taxpayer funds tied to the students. This, predictably, resulted in uproar from public school advocates and teachers unions, who sought to defend the right of school districts to break Florida law.
Also this month, the CDC admitted it over counted Florida’s COVID-19 case numbers by nearly 10,000 by attributing an entire weekend’s worth of cases to a single day. While the CDC eventually corrected its mistake, it never offered an apology, and local media used the error to slam DeSantis and his pro-freedom COVID-19 policies.