Florida’s Education Dept. slashes funding to DCPS over mask mandate as lawsuits continue

FDOE withholds $26,770 in funding to Duval County’s district

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Education upheld its threat to pull a chunk of state funding from Duval County Public Schools over the board’s decision to impose a mask mandate.

On Tuesday, the FDOE notified the district that it had been docked $26,770 out of the Florida Education Finance Program.

The salary for Duval County School Board members is $45,891. The state multiplied that amount by seven (the number of sitting board members), and divided it by 12 (the number of months in a year) to arrive at $26,770.

Duval’s district will return to a parental opt-out policy for student face masks.

The FDOE warned it will withhold that amount each month until DCPS comes into compliance with the state’s order banning mask mandates.

That order is being contested by several Florida school districts which argue the state’s education and health departments overstepped their authority in issuing an order branded as an attempt to uphold the rights of parents.

The state’s order - and its enforcement - has also received significant pushback from the Biden administration, which filed a cease and desist complaint Thursday against the Florida Department of Education over the withholding of money from Alachua County Public Schools.