Florida bucks Biden, strips federal aid from mask mandate schools

The Florida Department of Education stripped a local school board of federal aid money over its masking policy, directly defying the Biden administration

10/28/2021 12:30:00 AM

The Florida Department of Education stripped a local school board of federal aid money over its masking policy, directly defying the Biden administration

“I am appalled that the state would penalize the district by pulling funding we have not even received,” said the Alachua County Public Schools superintendent.

Link CopiedTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Education this week stripped local school boards of federal aid money over their masking policy, directly defying the Biden administration, which cautioned the state against the sanctions.Florida officials yanked the federal grant money for Alachua and Broward counties that was meant to offset penalties for enacting a local mask mandate just one day after the U.S. Department of Education warned that the move would violate requirements in federal law, a clear sign that the state and feds are still at odds over Covid-19 policies.

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School leaders in Alachua claim the state made the cuts to their October budget before the federal money even arrived, taking funding away from supporting students.“I am appalled that the state would penalize the district by pulling funding we have not even received,” said Carlee Simon, Alachua County Public Schools superintendent, in a statement Wednesday.

The move by the state signals that there’s no conclusion in the fight between Gov. Ron DeSantis and local school districts that have attempted to implement mask requirements. At one point during the summer, the conflict has pitted the governor against 13 school districts — including five that were in GOP-leaning counties — as well as the Biden administration, which had promised to financially support school districts that faced financial penalties for enacting mask mandates. headtopics.com

Currently, only a handful of school districts, including Alachua and Broward counties, are attempting to require masks in schools. Other counties reversed course after facing penalties from the state and seeing Covid-19 caseloads decline.The U.S. Department of Education claims that pulling the federal grants from school boards would lead to Florida “failing to comply” with federal requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. But Florida education officials classified that message as “harassing and legally hollow,” indicating the state would move full speed ahead with sanctioning school boards with mask mandates.

The Florida Department of Education on Tuesday deducted $164,505 from Alachua’s October budget allocation, a total that includes the monthly salary of school board members and the entire share of a $147,717 grant promised by the Biden administration, Simon said.

But Alachua has yet to draw down any of the “Project SAFE” grant dollars, meaning that the bulk of the state’s sanctions are hitting schools instead of school board members, according to Simon.The cuts came down on Tuesday, Simon said, one day after the U.S. Department of Education attempted to stop the state from pulling the funds, announcing the agency was prepared to “initiate enforcement action to stop these impermissible state actions.”

Alachua informed the U.S. Education Department about the funding reductions, said Simon, who expressed confidence that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona would continue supporting school districts that buck the state through mask mandates.The state withheld a total of $526,197 from Broward. headtopics.com

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Officials with the U.S. Department of Education and Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Biden administration pledged to send $567,000 combined to school board members in Alachua and Broward counties to counter fines from the Florida Department of Education, attempting to negate the state’s sanctions meant to dissolve local mask mandates.

The Florida Board of Education in response ramped up pressure on school board members by docking their pay andfrom counties that continue to require face coverings for students in defiance of DeSantis and a state Department of Health rule. Read more: POLITICO »

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fl DeSantis said: 'At the end of the day, we want people to be able to make informed decisions for themselves.' With exception of Texas, Greg Abbott, there is no bigger political quack in the country who would rather put his own people at risk than actually work to protect them. 👎 ChrisRi80029765 How can a state authority have a say over federal funds?

Clearly not in the best interest of the students! RonDeathSantis Good. If a publicly funded place wants to blindly follow a tyrants edicts like how the nazis followed hitlers edicts then they deserve everything that happens to them. May he rot for what he has done. Along with any other civil servant or politician who makes a decision based solely so that the other party gets nothing it is working for.

Federal Law trumps State. WTF Where is the $$ going now DeSantis & his supporters are SFS BonJS0370 Just to be cruel Florida; You get what you vote for. You could change your motto to 'The Unnecessary Death State'. The WhiteHouse's Unruly Neighborhood Book - Livestream Fri, Nov. 12, 7 PM - 8:30 pm EST: Barnes & Noble: Prequel, The Lost History of the Capitol on YouTube: Livestream Nov. 12:

You figured the Civil War would've taught them that State's Rights can't violate Federal authority. I mean State's Rights didn't seem to matter when it came to 'Sanctuary Cities' 3 years ago...

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Yes. There is nothing on paper there's no signed executive order for any mandates so they're not defying anything but media vapor. At this point, just let the GQP have it all. It’s going to be terrible but I want their voters to understand the old saying of “be careful what you wish for”. They really believe these assholes are going to pass anything to help them.

letsGoBrandon impeachbiden DeSantisisaNationalHero liberty freedom consittutionalorder statesrights ParentsRights We don’t care. Florida needs to deal with him I know two families personally who have Covid from children bringing it home from school. One in grade school & one in HS. SC Governor Henry McMasters refuses to let schools require masks & takes state funds away from schools who do.He said he would take it all the way to the SC.

uhh... Australia is just fine, we need to deploy to Florida, save anyone desperate to get out of that hellhole and then blow the place up once and for all. YEA!!!!!! You gotta love a Governor standing up to an impaired individual. Good!

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They should be sued by DOJ immediately. Federal laws supersede state law, especially over DeathSentence's executive pronouncements. What is their point? Are they deliberately trying to kill people? GovRonDeSantis RonDeSantisFL is creating anarchy tyranny and death Children are close to “0” risk from COVID. However, the psychological damage—particularly to kids w/Autism Spectrum Disorders + the absence of facial cues masking causes (which all young children need for normal development)—may well cause permanent developmental damage…

His and his staffs paychecks should be stripped too. A new wannabe king? So weird Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power-Abraham Lincoln..

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Killers in plain sight!!! He thinks he is already the president!! Good. Totalitarian diktats are unAmerican. And this joke wants to be president? jwhoopes2 Wtf? Gov Ron first tried to kill our seniors and overcrowd Florida hospitals, now he is trying to make our children sick. KissTheRing Feds should strip Florida of the aid money.

He wasn't this cocky when accepting fed funds after the condo collapse. Wait til the next hurricane... Debsingletary1 Check out studiosuperb If you need any new clothes , watches, Shirts ,sneakers NBA young boy Migos Dababy Gunna Justin Bieber have checked out this store! 'Local control' ... isn't.

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DeFool needs to resign. Yesterday. We’ve already done this dog and pony show. Biden gave them the ability to take it out of the covid relief given directly to schools. This is the second DeSantis nut swinging declaration that amounted to nothing. Now vote those on the out if office. Weak leadership should never be tolerated.

COVID is now listed as one of the leading causes for deaths in children. Another consequence of trying 'to own the libs'. The Trump Party is very pro-virus. this is sofa king ridiculous DoBetterFL RemoveRon Bye bye Florida. Now you get to spend millions of tax dollars defending a losing lawsuit Hold him accountable for killing all those people!

Unless there are consequences, why wouldn't they? Why can’t the Federal Deparrment of Education send the grant funds directly to the school districts?

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Florida didn't buck! It pollution from DeathDeSantis & the stench from Mar-A-Lago! NikkiFried for Governor FloridaMidTerm2022 RonBrownstein Biden should withhold all federal funds from FL, regardless of program, until FL fully complies with his COVID directives. Enough is enough. billrspencer Democracy is failing the citizens of the United States. When you have elected officials like GOPClown GovRonDeSantis governing with ignorance, putting Freedumb over safety, we are truly f*****!

So DeSantis thinks putting children at risk is ok just to prove a point. What a guy. Here is a perfect example of a person who has papers saying he has degrees and diplomas, but his actions reveal a person who is not intelligent, lacks judgment and to whom common sense is a stranger. Good. Arrest Deathsantis for murder.

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....Cocaine...all round my brain... What they really did was conscript some families to immense suffering and untenable decisions. Biden better start using his executive privilege like Trump did all over the place!!! Too fcking bad KathleenMcCarr8 Then they should be held accountable Guess FL replies to 'You're stupid' with 'we can do better in stupidity'. votedemocrat

Legend. henrymcmaster pretty sure your office said this wasn’t possible Florida had the highest per capita death toll during the Delta variant surge. DeathSantis isn’t finished killing Floridians.

LOVE IT! Go DeSantis!! 😡 Biden should be taking FED $$$ away from both TX & FL over some of their BS policies. What don't you understand about States Rights? On this topic the only people whose opinions matter are Floridians.