Florida Department of Administrative Hearings Judge Brian Newman cleared a path, refusing to dismiss a challenge by six Florida school districts, challenging the Florida Department of Health’s rule against mask mandates.
The counties included in the challenge are: Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Duval, Alachua, and Leon Counties.
School board members in Alachua County, who saw their salaries cut due to mandating masks in their schools against Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 21-175, were repaid Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).
Funding for the payment comes from a new program established by the Biden Administration known as the Project to Support America’s Families and Educators grant program, or “Project SAFE.”
Alachua County officials have called upon the University of Florida (UF) and Santa Fe College (SFC) to mandate masks for all students, faculty, and staff. The higher education institutions have rejected the request from the county commissioners.
Alachua County sent a letter to UF and SFC, located within Alachua County, last week asking them to join the county, the county school board, and the City of Gainesville in an effort to be of one accord in mandating masks.