JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Education has returned the money it withheld from Duval County Public Schools and other state school districts as a punishment for implementing mask mandates.
DCPS received more than $26,000 from the state. That money goes toward the paychecks of school board members and was withheld by the state after the districts chose to defy its order banning mask mandates.
The state agency says on Nov. 29, it transferred close to $878,000 to the school districts. DCPS was one of at least nine school districts that had money withheld.
You can read FDOE's full statement below.
The purpose of withholding funds from school districts was to ensure that all school districts comply with the law. Our position has always been that we would release withheld funds once districts demonstrated compliance (see the attached letter). Approximately $878,000 was released to districts on Monday, November 29, 2021 – this amounts to approximately $309,000 in withheld salary and $568,000 in Project SAFE grant funds.
We are glad that these districts have finally recognized that parents have the right to make personal and private health care and educational decisions for their children. The Department will continue to make sure those rights are protected.