Biden offers cash to Florida educators who mandate masks, defying DeSantis order banning them

Biden offers cash to Florida educators who mandate masks, defying DeSantis order banning them
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Biden administration is seeking to defy Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his recent statewide ban of mask mandates in schools by providing financial assistance to educational institutions that implement such mandates.

"Florida’s recent actions to block school districts from voluntarily adopting science-based strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19 that are aligned with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts students and staff at risk," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote in a letter addressed to DeSantis and state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran sent on Friday.

Cardona said the Biden administration was "deeply concerned" by the executive action DeSantis took last month to ban mask requirements.

“In particular, I am deeply concerned about Florida’s July 30 Executive Order prohibiting school districts from adopting universal masking policies consistent with CDC guidance. Moreover, on August 9, the Governor’s spokesperson released a statement specifying that in cases where school districts adopt masking policies consistent with CDC guidance, ‘the State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members.’ The Governor’s Office appeared to further clarify that penalties could take the forms of fines on a school district,” the letter read.

WHITE HOUSE DENIES 'WAR' ON DESANTIS AMID COVID CLASH

“The Department stands with these dedicated educators who are working to safely reopen schools and maintain safe in-person instruction,” Cardona wrote.

In the letter, the education secretary said the administration would utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Biden’s first coronavirus-related economic relief legislation, to ensure these teachers and administrators are paid.

"We are eager to partner with [the Florida Department of Education] on any efforts to further our shared goals of protecting the health and safety of students and educators," he added. "If FLDOE does not wish to pursue such an approach, the Department will continue to work directly with the school districts and educators that serve Florida’s students."

DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw pushed back on the letter, calling out the Biden administration for offering more support to "superintendents and elected politicians, who don’t believe that parents have a right to choose what’s best for their children, than on Florida’s students, which is what these funds should be used for.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The letter is the latest in a feud between President Joe Biden and DeSantis, who is expected to run for the presidency in 2024.

On Wednesday, the White House denied it was waging a political war against Florida's governor, saying instead that the administration was doing what it could to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

"Our war is not on DeSantis; it's on the virus, which we are trying to kneecap,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a White House briefing. “He does not seem to want to participate in that effort to kneecap the virus. Hence, our concern.”

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: News, Biden Administration, Ron DeSantis, Coronavirus, Education, Joe Biden, Healthcare, White House, Regulation

Original Author: Lawrence Richard

Original Location: Biden offers cash to Florida educators who mandate masks, defying DeSantis order banning them

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting