Florida governor: school districts that defied no-mask mandate to lose $200m (The Guardian)

The Guardian: Florida governor: school districts that defied no-mask mandate to lose $200m. “Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, is backing a controversial proposal to strip $200m in education funding from Democratic counties that defied his executive order last year banning mask mandates in schools. DeSantis, who is widely seen as a leading heir to Donald Trump in the Republican party, plans to send the money instead to mostly Republican counties that supported him.”

Miami Herald: Archdiocese of Miami changes mask requirements for its schools after COVID-19 case rise

Miami Herald: Archdiocese of Miami changes mask requirements for its schools after COVID-19 case rise. “When students and staff in schools run by the Archdiocese of Miami return to classes Monday, they’ll be required to wear masks, the Catholic organization announced Saturday. And that requirement will be in place ‘regardless of vaccination status or parental request to waive the requirement’ for students 2 years old and up.”

6 South Florida: Miami-Dade Expanding COVID-19 Sites, Bringing Back Masks in Buildings Amid Surge

6 South Florida: Miami-Dade Expanding COVID-19 Sites, Bringing Back Masks in Buildings Amid Surge. “Miami-Dade is expanding COVID-19 sites and hours and bringing back mandatory masks in county buildings as the county deals with a surge in cases and high demand for testing ahead of the holidays, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday. Levine Cava said the county is hoping to open between three and five new sites and expanding hours at existing sites in response to the accelerated demand for testing. The new sites and hours will be announced on the county’s website.”

New York Times: As G.O.P. Fights Mask and Vaccine Mandates, Florida Takes the Lead

New York Times: As G.O.P. Fights Mask and Vaccine Mandates, Florida Takes the Lead. “Almost entirely along party lines, Republicans passed four bills on Wednesday to curtail mask and vaccine mandates, the culmination of a three-day special legislative session that Mr. DeSantis called so swiftly it caught even Republican leaders by surprise. The session was urgently needed to combat federal government overreach, Mr. DeSantis argued.”

Associated Press: Florida’s top doctor refuses mask, is told to leave meeting

Associated Press: Florida’s top doctor refuses mask, is told to leave meeting. “Florida’s top health official was asked to leave a meeting after refusing to wear a mask at the office of a state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition, officials have confirmed. Florida Senate leader Wilton Simpson, a Republican, sent a memo to senators Saturday regarding the incident at the office of Democratic state Sen. Tina Polsky, asking visitors at the building to be respectful with social interactions.”

Opinion: Florida teachers are quitting their jobs in droves — and who can blame them? (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Opinion: Florida teachers are quitting their jobs in droves — and who can blame them?. “Teachers are quitting their jobs in droves, particularly younger ones, and who can blame them? As of July, 2,137 teachers have left the Orlando-area Orange County school system, either by resigning or retiring, Wendy L. Doromal, the president of the county’s Classroom Teachers Association, told me, adding that another 493 teachers told a recent survey they are currently thinking of leaving or retiring. ‘It’s more than we have had previously, and it just keeps going and going,’ Doromal said. Statewide, there were 5,000 teachers and 3,700 support-staff vacancies in early August. There is also a major substitute teacher crisis, not to mention an intense shortage of bus drivers.”

Florida Phoenix: State will dock salaries from 8 elected school boards due to their strict mask policies

Florida Phoenix: State will dock salaries from 8 elected school boards due to their strict mask policies. “Eight school district superintendents pled their cases Thursday to the State Board of Education, to keep strict mask mandates in their districts for the safety of children and staff. Instead, they were punished and it was expected, following Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran’s earlier recommendations.”

Nikki Fried: Commissioner Nikki Fried Releases COVID-19 School Data Blocked by DeSantis Administration

Nikki Fried: Commissioner Nikki Fried Releases COVID-19 School Data Blocked by DeSantis Administration. “Today, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, an independently-elected member of the Florida Cabinet, held a virtual press conference to release and discuss school district COVID-19 data which Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration has worked to block. This data shows clear evidence that school districts requiring masks resulted in up to four times lower COVID-19 cases per capita than school districts that did not require masks.”

7 News Florida: Department of Education awards BCPS grant for more than $420K after funds were cut by state

7 News Florida: Department of Education awards BCPS grant for more than $420K after funds were cut by state. “Broward County Public Schools is getting a bailout by the federal government after the state withheld funds due to the district’s mask mandate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently cut funding to the BCPS Board when they decided to make masks mandatory in schools. The United States Department of Education is now giving it back in the form of a grant.”

CNN: A Florida chiropractor signed hundreds of mask exemption forms for students. Now, the district has tightened its mask policy

CNN: A Florida chiropractor signed hundreds of mask exemption forms for students. Now, the district has tightened its mask policy. “A school district in Sarasota County, Florida, has tightened its mask policy after a chiropractor signed hundreds of medical exemption forms that allowed students to opt out of wearing masks in schools, officials said. The Sarasota County School Board had voted in August to implement a 90-day mandatory mask policy for students, employees, visitors and vendors, with exceptions for medical reasons or if wearing a face mask would not be consistent with a student’s Individualized Education Plan.”

WFLA: Federal judge declines to block Florida ban on mask mandates

WFLA: Federal judge declines to block Florida ban on mask mandates . “A federal judge declined Wednesday to block a ban imposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to prevent mandating masks for Florida school students amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Judge K. Michael Moore in Miami denied a request by parents of disabled children for a preliminary injunction against an executive order that DeSantis issued in July that served as the basis for the Florida Department of Health issuing a rule that required school districts to allow parents to opt out of any student mask mandates.”