HomeEducationFlorida Department of Education launches investigation into school board’s non-compliance with rules
Florida Department of Education launches investigation into school board’s non-compliance with rules
August 10, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Yesterday Richard Corcoran, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) sent a letter to Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon and School Board Chair Dr. Leanetta McNealy, expressing “grave concern” over the district’s “significant neglect” in response to last week’s emergency rule from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). The rule requires school districts to “allow for a parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face covering or mask.” However, Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) is requiring the signature of “a licensed medical doctor, a licensed osteopathic physician or a licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner.“
The letter says that this requirement “is inconsistent with the emergency rule.” It goes on to note that “Your district’s response, as noted in our conversation, and in recent letters sent to parents/guardians, as well as public statements made during press events this week indicate that you have no current intentions of complying with this order.”
Citing Section 1008.32 Florida Statutes, Corcoran wrote, “I am immediately initiating an investigation of non-compliance with rules” from FDOH and FLDOE. The letter demands a written response by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10, documenting how the district is complying with the rules. Any failure to comply with the rules “will result in sanctions permitted under law.” The sanctions listed in the statute include withholding the transfer of state funds, discretionary grant funds, discretionary lottery funds, or any other funds specified as eligible for this purpose by the Legislature.”
Corcoran wrote that he may recommend to the State Board of Education that the Department withhold funds in an amount equal to the salaries for the Superintendent and all the members of the School Board.
The letter concludes, “There is no room for error or leniency when it comes to ensuring compliance with policies that allow parents and guardians to make health and educational choices for their children” and that the district must “remedy this glaring non-compliance and report the resolution” to FLDOE.
Please log in again.
The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.