In August, the US Department of Education began investigating mask bans in five states.
Florida was initially excluded from the group, which includes Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
The department's Office of Civil Rights is seeking to ensure students are "safely accessing in-person education."
Florida has been added to the group of states being investigated by the US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights over its ban on school mask mandates.
In a letter sent Friday, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Suzanne B. Goldberg informed Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that her office was looking into whether his department "may be preventing school districts in the state from considering or meeting the needs of students with disabilities."
Goldberg cited Florida's policy of letting parents or legal guardians "to opt their child out of mask mandates designed to reduce the risk to students and others of contracting COVID-19 in school."
News of the letter was first reported by the Miami Herald, coming just hours after a Florida judge upheld Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' statewide ban on school mask requirements.
In August, Goldberg informed five GOP-led states that they were being investigated over their prohibition on local school mask mandates.
"National data also show that children with some underlying medical conditions, including those with certain disabilities, are at higher risk than other children for experiencing severe illness from COVID-19," Goldberg wrote.
Florida has been hard hit by the Delta variant, reporting an average of 337 deaths per day over the last week, more than any other state in the country and accounting for more than 20% of fatalities nationwide.
Have a news tip? Email this reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the original article on Business Insider