Florida Department of Education releases paychecks it withheld from school board members that implemented mask mandates – CNN

Education department financial documents provided to CNN by the Orange County School Board show that the Department transferred $877,851 to the eight districts on November 29.

The eight school districts are: Alachua County, Brevard County, Broward County, Miami-Dade, Duval County, Leon County, Orange County and Palm Beach County.

In October, the Florida Board of Education voted to penalize the eight school districts for imposing mask mandates that did not allow parents to choose to opt-out their children. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had signed an executive order that sought to curb school districts ability to impose Covid-19 mitigation strategies, like mask mandates.

The payments were first reported by the Florida Phoenix.

The Leon County and Orange County school districts confirmed they received the withheld funds from the Florida Department of Education but did not have any further comment.

Because the paychecks were withheld, two of the school districts — Alachua County and Broward County — applied for and received grant money from the US Department of Education’s Project to Support America’s Families and Educators program.

That program promises federal funds for school districts that are, “financially penalized,” by state education agencies for implementing Covid-19 mitigation strategies.

The US Department of Education filed a cease and desist complaint with the Florida Department of Education over funds being withheld from those two districts, saying that the state unlawfully — and explicitly — reduced the amount of state aid provided to them based on their receipt of federal funds.

At the time, Florida Department of Education spokesperson Jared Ochs told CNN in a statement that the federal government “is acting unlawfully and they have yet to respond to the substance of our prior response,” referencing an October 13 letter from Florida’s education commissioner.

Jackie Johnson, a spokesperson for Alachua County, told CNN they had finally received funds from the Florida Department of Education and had yet to cash the check they received from the federal government. Johnson said the district would be returning the funds to the federal government.

“We are glad to have been reimbursed by the state for the funding withheld,” Johnson told CNN.

“We also greatly appreciate U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and his department for their support of our efforts to limit the spread of COVID among students and staff.”

CNN reached out to the other five districts, the Florida Department of Education and the US Department of Education but did not immediately receive a response.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces program to improve education, retention, and recruitment of nurses – Governor Jim Justice

CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.

GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NURSING PROGRAMDuring Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will invest $48 million in a new program to improve and expand nursing education, retention, and recrui…….


Mississippi Department of Education awards grants to five universities – WXXV News 25

The Mississippi Department of Education awards almost $10 million grants to five universities to help fight the state’s teacher shortage.

William Carey University and Delta State received about $1.9 million each while the University of Southern Mississippi, Jackson State University, and Mississippi State received grants of about $2 million.

The grants are part of the Mississippi Teacher Residency and they support graduate degree programs.

Student teachers will work in critical shortage areas serving low-income children, racial-ethnic minorities, and children with disabilities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. USM College of Education and H…….