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Miami-Dade school board says it won’t be swayed by state fines for mask mandate

"We’re going to respond according to the data, predicated on science, predicated on the information and recommendations of our medical experts," School Board Vice-Chair Steve Gallon said.

MIAMI – If Miami-Dade County Public Schools don’t comply with the state’s ban on mask mandates, the district will lose funding.

Until they comply, “the Florida Department of Education is directed to begin withholding from state funds, on a monthly basis, an amount equal to 1/12 of the total annual compensation of the school board, as an initial step.”

That’s about $33,000 per month in Miami-Dade.

Despite having a financial impact some school board members say they are not concerned about the personal financial repercussions.

“We do it for service,” said Steve Gallon, the board’s vice-chair. “We do it for our commitment to our children, our community, our employees.”

Gallon doesn’t believe the school board will change course despite the state’s punishment.

“We’re going to respond according to the data, predicated on science, predicated on the information and recommendations of our medical experts but not predicated on any political fear, any political intimidation,” he said.

It was last Thursday when, despite hearing from eight different superintendents who argued they’re doing what’s in the best interest of their communities, the education board voted to continue to sanction them.

“It is a punitive approach to really impose a sanction that is not consistent with science,” Gallon said. “That obviously has some political undertones.”

As previously announced, the state’s education commissioner Richard Corcoran is also going after federal funds following the Biden Administration’s announcement that it would step in and cover the loss of funding by the state.


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.