Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) attempts to prevent school districts from implementing mask mandates are largely backfiring at this point.
Last night, Palm Beach County became the latest school district in Florida to buck DeSantis’ order, joining four other districts in the state.
Despite the Florida state board of education’s vote earlier this week to investigate two districts that have refused to comply with DeSantis’ ban (Alachua and Broward Counties), it appears that the governor’s intimidation tactic isn’t working as more districts combat surging COVID-19 cases in their communities with mask mandates.
President Biden yesterday reiterated that his administration will back up school district officials who defy Republican governors’ ban on mask mandates.
Biden announced yesterday that he has directed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “to take additional steps to protect our children,” which include “using all of his oversight authorities and legal actions, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators.”
Cardona will order his department’s civil rights office to probe states such as Florida and Texas that are banning school mask mandates.
Cardona sent a letter to DeSantis last week saying that the administration can use federal funds to make up for reductions in funding that the state may withhold from school district leaders who refuse to comply with the governor’s ban.