White House tiptoes around DeSantis's threat to withhold salary from school officials mandating masks

White House tiptoes around DeSantis's threat to withhold salary from school officials mandating masks
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not "preview" the administration's plan Tuesday for pushing back on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's latest action opposed to federal coronavirus guidance, opting instead to highlight "the courage and the boldness" of other local officials taking steps to "protect students."

DeSantis threatened Monday to withhold funding and salaries from school officials and districts should they opt to mandate masks for all persons in school, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance.

FLORIDA SCHOOL OFFICIALS COULD LOSE SALARIES OVER MASK MANDATES

Pressed on his announcement at Tuesday's briefing, Psaki responded by calling "out the courage and the boldness of a number of leaders in Florida, including in Miami-Dade County, people who are stepping up to do the right thing to protect students and keep schools safe and open."

She added that the administration is "continuing to look for ways" to help local school districts "as they try to follow the science and do the right thing and save lives."

Psaki also questioned why Florida's allocation of school aid included in the American Rescue Plan has still not been distributed to local districts.

"If you're not interested in following the public health guidelines to protect the lives of people in your state, to give parents some comfort as they're sending their kids to school schools are opening in Florida this week," she continued, "then get out of the way and let public officials let local officials do their job to keep students safe."

Later in the briefing, Psaki reiterated that the government is exploring ways to circumvent similar actions from DeSantis or other governors but declined to "preview" such options.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona vowed last week not to cut education funding for Florida on the grounds that it would hurt students and deepen the political divide on the subject.

"At the end of the day, I want to work with Texas. I want to work with Florida. I want to make sure those students have access to in-person learning," he said at the time. "So, at the end of the day, we're all in this together. And it's critically important that we have conversations with governors directly."

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Tags: News, Jen Psaki, White House, Face masks, Florida, Ron DeSantis, Coronavirus, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Original Author: Christian Datoc

Original Location: White House tiptoes around DeSantis's threat to withhold salary from school officials mandating masks