wplg logo

Broward schools stand by face mask mandate without DeSantis’ opt-out option for parents

Broward school district responds to state officials’ threats

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

Broward Schools Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright and School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood respond to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran's letter. (BCPS)

Cocoran’s letter

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran's letter to Broward Schools Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright and School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood (FDOE)

Related social media


About the Author:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter.