- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
School boards across Florida are reconsidering mandatory mask policies since a judge struck down Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order barring local classroom mandates.
Driving the news: The ruling paved the way for boards in Brevard, Charlotte, Lee, Lake, Volusia, and Osceola Counties to call meetings to talk about mask policies. At least two of them — Brevard and Lee — instituted mask mandates Monday.
Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Why it matters: As of Monday, Tampa Bay school districts from Citrus to Sarasota had reported nearly 17,000 confirmed COVID cases among students and staff — a milestone that took months longer to reach last school year.
And teens have the highest positivity rate in the state, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
State of play: Hillsborough and Sarasota are among the 10 boards that openly defied DeSantis' orders and made masks mandatory — but those 10 make up more than half of the state’s public school students.
It sets up an interesting situation in Pinellas County, where the swing vote to keep masks optional was a board member who wanted mandatory masks but didn’t want to "break the law."
Between the lines: The ruling, which DeSantis has vowed to appeal, seems to have kept Florida out of the crosshairs of the U.S. Department of Education.
The feds announced yesterday that they're investigating five Republican-led states that banned mask requirements because those policies could mean discrimination against students who have disabilities or health issues.
The department said — for now — it wasn’t looking at the four states where such bans have been overturned by courts: Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Arizona.
More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free