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Florida Department of Education issues paychecks it withheld from school board members performing mask duties

CNN, ABC, CBS, CDC

By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

The Florida Department of Education reversed the policy and paid school board members in eight counties across the state, after they withheld them for months as counties issued mask orders.

Department of Education financial documents provided to CNN by the Orange County School Board show that the Department transferred $877,851 to eight school districts as of Nov.

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 vote to penalize eight school districts because imposing mask duties does not allow parents to choose opt-out for their children. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order limiting the ability of school districts to impose Covid-19 mitigation strategies, such as mask mandates.

The payments were first reported by Florida Phoenix.

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

Because wages were withheld, two of the school districts – Alachua County and Broward County – applied for and received grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s American Educator and Families Assistance Program Ky.

That program promises federal funds for school districts that are “financially sanctioned” by state education agencies to implement Covid-19 mitigation strategies.

The US Department of Education has applied terminate and cancel complained to the Florida Department of Education about withholding funds from those two school districts, saying the state had unlawfully – and apparently – reduced the amount of state aid provided to them based on on their receipt of federal funds.

At the time, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Education, Jared Ochs, told CNN in a statement that the federal government “is acting illegally and it has yet to respond to the content of the previous response.” us,” referencing an October 13 letter from Florida’s commissioner of education.

Jackie Johnson, spokesperson for Alachua seeds, told CNN that they have finally received the money from the Florida Department of Education and have yet to receive the check they received from the federal government. Johnson said the district will return the money to the federal government.

Johnson told CNN: “We are pleased to have been reimbursed by the state for the withheld funding.

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

CNN contacted the remaining five counties, the Florida Department of Education and the US Department of Education, but did not receive an immediate response.

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https://kesq.com/news/national-world/cnn-national/2021/12/14/florida-department-of-education-releases-paychecks-it-withheld-from-school-board-members-that-implemented-mask-mandates-2/ Florida Department of Education issues paychecks it withheld from school board members performing mask duties

DUSTIN JONES

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