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Miami-Dade Schools set to begin with mask mandate in place, Broward not making changes ahead of state imposed deadline

In Miami-Dade, school is set to start on Monday despite concerns of a shortage of bus drivers and with a mask mandate.
In Miami-Dade, school is set to start on Monday despite concerns of a shortage of bus drivers and with a mask mandate.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho toured Coral Gables Senior High School Sunday morning ahead of the first day of school on Monday.

Meanwhile, the school district in Broward County has to decide whether to drop its mask mandate or risk sanctions.

Tuesday is the deadline for Broward to walk back its mask mandate or lose state funding equal to the salaries of its board members.

On Friday, the Florida Board of Education presented the Broward and Alachua County school districts with the deadline make a decision.

“All we’re doing is implementing Florida law,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

If the school district gives parents the option to opt their children out of wearing masks, then the state will not impose financial penalties.

But Broward Schools said it will not reverse course and will take legal action against the state.

“We also believe that we are acting in the best interest of the staff and students.” said Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Chair of the Broward County School Board.

The school districts in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough counties also voted last week to impose mask mandates for students.

The Florida Board of Education has not decided whether to investigate those districts for noncompliance, but a spokesperson says the agency probably will.

“We are resolute in our position,” Carvalho said Sunday. “We are unflinching in our commitment to the health and well-being of our students and teachers, and we’re going to stay the course. When that letter arrives, we’ll be ready to argue our position.”

If the Broward School Board doesn’t get rid of its mask mandate, it has to provide a list of annual salaries for all of its board members.

And if not, the state will use the most recent appropriations estimate to calculate how much funding to withhold.

“Around 90 percent of our parents support masks,” Broward School Board Vice Chair Dr. Steve Gallon said Sunday on This Week in South Florida. “The communication from our board members, after the vote, has been extremely positive.”

RELATED LINK

Miami-Dade Public Schools ready for students, super says

READ FULL LETTER TO BROWARD SCHOOL BOARD BELOW:


About the Authors:

Madeleine Wright is a general assignment reporter for Local 10 News. She joined the team in March 2017.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.