TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Broad of Education is likely to adopt its emergency rule on masking in schools Friday.
As of now, it appears the plan is to allow public school students to access private school scholarships if their district mandates face masks and their parents object.
Private and even public charter schools like this one are able to set their own masking policies regardless of what a local school board does.
The Department of Education is expected to adopt a rule Friday allowing for public schools students to obtain private school scholarships if their public school requires masks.
“Our students and our teachers were in face shields last year,” said Co-Founder of Tallahassee Classical School Jana Sayler.
At Tallahassee Classical School regular cleaning and air filtration will be present this year, but masks will be optional.
“We want to be sure to give parents the option and we want to err on the side of liberty and free will,” said Sayler.
Dr. Alan Chen, a pediatrician radiologist and board member at the school came to the same conclusion as the Governor on the effectiveness of masks in schools.
“There’s been no difference between schools with mask mandates and no mask mandates,” said Dr. Chen.
The expected Department of Education rule appears to fall short of outright banning face mask mandates in schools, but the Department of Health is also expected to announce an emergency rule on mask mandates.
The Florida School Boards Association told us indications are the Department of Health will likely require any school mask mandate to include an option for parents to opt out.
The Governor’s possible 2022 Agriculture Commissioner opponent Nikki Fried continued to call for local control Thursday.
“Every community is different and the local communities and school boards should have the power to make the right decisions for their own communities,” said Fried.
The Governor’s Office has indicated rules from both the Department of Health and Education will be finalized by weeks end, ahead of the first day of school for many districts in the state.
With at least three schools districts in the state already having adopted some form of school mask mandate, Republican State Representative Anthony Sabatini has started a petition for a Special Session, to block school mandates through legislative action.