Local governments and school boards in Texas and Florida, who are resisting orders from their Republican governors to ban mask-wearing requirements in schools, received full backing from President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday, according to a statement released by the White House.
Previously, the schools at the districts in Florida resisted efforts of banning masks in schools in the wake of a spike in Covid cases. So the Biden administration said it would consider supporting the education leaders who were financially penalized by Ron DeSantis, the state’s Republican governor, for taking such action.
Biden Administration Supports Use Of Masks In Texas And Florida Districts
According to reports, the Broward County School Board in Florida, one of the biggest in the state, became the latest to defy a Florida governor’s order banning the use of face masks on Tuesday. The governor said earlier this week that the state board of education would be permitted to withhold money from school district officials who followed mask requirements.
According to a pair of open letters written by Miguel Cardona, Education Secretary, the administration condemned orders issued by Texas Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis of Florida, which were in violation of public health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a further point of clarification, Cardona emphasized that federal COVID-19 relief monies for schools may be utilized to bridge any budgetary gaps created by state officials’ fines imposed on local school systems.
In his letter, Cardona said that the Department stands with these committed educators who are striving to restore schools and continue safe in-person teaching securely. The development of the more transmissible delta from among their unvaccinated populations has resulted in the two states having some of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the country, which is primarily responsible for the outbreaks.
According to the White House, the two states alone accounted for 40 percent of all hospitalizations caused by the virus in the last week, according to the report.
Both Abbott and DeSantis have said that parents should be the ones to determine whether or not their children should wear masks to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised mandatory mask use in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, earlier this month to limit the spread of the variation.
The letters represent the administration’s most direct response to the state regulations too far. They come just days after President Barack Obama said that he did not think he had the power to reverse the governors’ decisions in a speech.
Vice President Joe Biden remarked last month that he appeals to these governors to please assist him. But if they aren’t willing to assist, at the very least, get out of the way. The people are making an effort to do the right thing. Make use of your influence to save lives.
Corcoran has indicated that he may propose to the Florida Board of Education that the salaries of superintendents and members of school boards in districts that have implemented mask requirements be withheld from their paychecks. Cardona wrote that any threat by Florida to deny salaries from the superintendents and school board members working to protect students and educators (or to levy other financial consequences) could be spoken using (federal virus respite) funds at the sole and complete discretion of Florida school districts.
In addition to stating that schools are not required to undertake contact tracing for suspected COVID-19 infections, Abbott’s administration has said that schools are not required to implement mask requirements. Cardona’s letter clarifies that government money may be utilized for contact tracking and other purposes.