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Biden Admin. Awards $150K To Florida District That Resisted DeSantis

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said on Thursday that it was reimbursing a Florida school district that lost state money for imposing a mask mandate, in opposition to a ban on such orders from Gov. Ron DeSantis, the pro-Trump Republican.

The award to Alachua County Public Schools of $147,719 is the first in the nation.

It effectively compensates for the money lost in early September. Broward County, in South Florida, also saw state funds taken away because it ordered masking in schools.

The loss in Alachua County amounted to $13,400 a month.

Imposed in late July, the DeSantis ban led to a war of words between the strident governor and the White House, as well as an accompanying, ongoing court fight.

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Alachua is the first district in the country to receive a reimbursement for following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, as well as the advice of most public health officials.

U.S. Education Secretary Michael Cardona said in a statement:

“We should be thanking districts for using proven strategies that will keep schools open and safe, not punishing them.” 

Cardona is in the midst of a bus tour to promote the safe resumption of in-person instruction, which was halted for much of last year in many large cities, as well as in states controlled by Democrats, who tended to be more cautious about in-person schooling than Republicans like DeSantis.

The Biden administration has insisted that regular school classes resume, but that students wear masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated.

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Some Republican governors, led by DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, have prevented school districts from following CDC guidance on school masking, which has resulted in thousands of students having to quarantine in those and other states … READ MORE. 

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