Board of Education gives Broward school district 48 hours to comply with mask order before issuing sanctions

The State of Florida Board of Education notified the Broward School Board Friday that it has 48 hours to comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order regarding mask mandates at schools or a portion of their salaries will be deducted on a monthly basis until they are in compliance.

If they choose to not be in compliance, the school board has 48 hours to provide Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran with the current annual salaries of all board members.

“An amount equal to 1/12 of the total annual compensation of the school board” will then be withheld each month, “as an initial step,” the letter stated.

“Monthly withholding must continue until the School Board of Broward County demonstrates compliance, the State Board of Education withdraws this order, or when the emergency rule expires or is withdrawn,” the notice stated. “If the School Board of Broward County fails to provide the requested compensation information within the 48 hour period, the Florida Department of Education shall withhold state funds based on the most recent appropriations estimate until the school board provides the current estimate.”

Under the governor’s order, public schools must allow parents or legal guardians the option to opt-out of their child from wearing a face covering or mask.

The Broward School Board has been adamant that their mask mandate is for the safety of students and staff members as the pandemic continues, and the district’s interim superintendent said there were only two cases on the first day of school regarding people who refused to wear masks.

Regardless, the Board of Education warned that it may impose additional sanctions until the school district is in compliance.

“It is important to remember that this issue is about ensuring local school board members, elected politicians, follow the law. These public officials have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida. We cannot have government officials pick and choose what laws they want to follow,” Corcoran said in a statement. “These are the initial consequences to their intentional refusal to follow state law and state rule to purposefully and willingly violate the rights of parents. This is simply unacceptable behavior.”

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