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Florida strips schools of federal funding over mandatory mask policies

Biden Department of Education warns of federal enforcement action against state.

Published: October 27, 2021 10:44pm

Updated: October 27, 2021 11:41pm

Two school districts in Florida were stripped of hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funding due to their mandatory mask policy. 

According to The Hill, the Florida Department of Education took away the funding from Alachua and Broward counties as punishment for requiring students and teachers to wear masks.

In a statement, Alachua county says the state withheld more than $160,000 this week alone, while Broward County says the state has taken more than $530,000 since August. 

This comes just a day after the Biden administration warned Florida that any such actions would violate federal law, escalating tensions between Gov. Ron DeSantis and President Joe Biden concerning COVID-19 policies in schools.

The Department of Education earlier this week sent a letter to Florida, warning the state of potential federal intervention if they continued to strip districts of funding.

Directing the state "to comply with all requirements applicable to its federal grant awards," the Biden DOE warned, "If FLDOE moves forward with its planned reduction of state aid to Alachua and Broward, the Department is prepared to initiate enforcement action to stop these impermissible state actions."

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