PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools will begin the new 2021-22 school year on Aug. 18 with a face mask mandate for school buses and school buildings that won’t include Gov. Ron DeSantis’ opt-out option for parents. The only exceptions are for students with medical conditions or individual education plans.
Broward Schools Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright and School Board of Broward County Chair Rosalind Osgood sent a letter on Friday afternoon to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran letting him know that his threats had not changed their mind.
Amid a Delta variant-driven COVID surge in Broward County, school board members approved a universal face mask mandate on July 28. DeSantis signed an executive order to protect parents’ freedom to choose on July 30th. The state law would require that school districts allow parents to opt-out without a doctor’s note.
The School Board of Broward County members voted 8-1 to keep the mask mandate despite DeSantis’ order. They also decided to hire outside legal counsel to deal with the state’s opposition.
Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran sent a letter to Cartwright and Osgood threatening to impose “sanctions” if the district’s policy didn’t add the opt-out option that DeSantis’ order requires. Cartwright and Osgood responded with a 3-page letter arguing the district’s policy is in compliance with state law.
Related story: Biden admin backs Texas, Florida districts on mask mandates
Read the letters
Response signed by Cartwright and Osgood
Related social media
Today, the State Board of Education adopted 6AER21-01, ensuring that students in quarantine will continue to receive high-quality educational instruction to avoid learning loss. Full order: https://t.co/Gi033G2uIy pic.twitter.com/uPGudrv8zC— Florida Department of Education (@EducationFL) August 6, 2021
The State Board of Education also adopted 6AER21-02, protecting students and families from forms of harassment as a result of personal health care decisions made by families. Full order: https://t.co/MPrcnLT2X7 pic.twitter.com/8Ls9JtL0rb— Florida Department of Education (@EducationFL) August 6, 2021