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Eight school districts were stripped of funding after the Florida Board of Education voted Thursday to penalize those that violate Florida law by mandating masks for children.

Ashley Sadler
October 8, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — Florida school districts mandating masks for kids in violation of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban have been issued financial penalties after a unanimous Board of Education vote to green-light the strategy Thursday.

The move is the latest salvo in an ongoing legal battle with President Joe Biden over the rights of citizens to make their own health choices, as well as the state of Florida’s authority to make and enforce its own rules without federal interference.

At its October 7 meeting, the Florida Board of Education (BOE) unanimously agreed to impose financial penalties for school districts mandating students wear masks to allegedly stem the spread of COVID-19, taking up Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s recommendation to impose the penalties as an enforcement measure.

The financial penalties stripping state funding from defiant districts will be used to ensure schools comply with an executive order signed by Gov. DeSantis in July prohibiting school administrators from forcing children to mask up against their parents’ wishes.

Many parents have demanded their children not be forced to wear masks to attend in-person school, citing data indicating that children are not at high risk from COVID-19, do not significantly spread the virus, and may face psychological and physical damage from prolonged mask wearing.

After facing legal action from proponents of mandated masking, Florida’s ban on school mask mandates was upheld by a federal judge on September 15, with the court standing firm by rejecting an appeal to reconsider on September 30.

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