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State Board of Education announces meeting to determine compliance of 12 school districts with emergency rules

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The Florida State Board of Education (BOE) has announced a meeting on October 7 “to consider the compliance of school districts, including Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Florida State University Lab, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach and Sarasota with the Department of Health’s Emergency Rule 64DER21-15 and the Department of Health’s former Emergency Rule 64DER 21-12.”

At the meeting, the Commissioner of Education is expected to report his findings of probable cause or a finding of no probable cause for these districts under the provisions of Section 1008.32, Florida Statutes. The meeting will be streamed on the Florida Channel.

The agenda will be posted prior to the meeting on the Department of Education’s website.

The BOE previously found probable cause against Alachua County Public Schools at a meeting on August 17. The outcome of the meeting was a unanimous vote on a motion to further investigate the district and “take all legal steps to enforce rules of this board, rules of the Department of Health, and laws that have been duly enacted by the legislature… It may involve withholding salaries, it may involve removing officers, it may involve reviewing district conduct, it may involve public records requests to see how monies are being spent within the district, including whether they’re being spent for public relations or political purposes, contrary to their constitutional mandate. It would include enhanced reporting and accountability to this board, and I would also add a report to the legislature, with recommendations to the legislature to act and to take whatever additional steps may be necessary, to the extent this board lacks the enforcement mechanisms to fully implement the constitution and the statutes and the rules of the Department of Health and the Department of Education and other State agencies.”

The Commissioner of Education announced on August 30 that the salaries of school board members would be withheld, and the U.S. Department of Education announced on September 9 that they would award grants to school districts that had cuts in state funding because of COVID-19 policies.

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  • Enforcement mechanisms? Fines, Jail time, removal from office, and defendant must pay their own legal fees sounds good…stop the child abuse…hey, teachers, leave them kids alone! What’s the survival rate for the USA? 99.8% what’s the survival rate on the planet earth? 99.9%….they teach math in school, right? What’s the next whole # that rounds up to? 100%…oh! But people
    Are dying!!!! You don’t care about the people who are
    Dying! There’s optimists and pessimists…or is there something nefarious going on here to achieve some global political agenda…masks are like putting up a chain link fence to stop a mosquito.

    • P. Floyd,

      They teach math in school, But a quick epidemiology lesson. Fatality rate is the number of deaths divided by number of infections. covert this to percentage by multiplying by 100. Granted this number is small 1.6% nationally – currently. 1.6% of the national population is over 5.3 million.
      So let’s do some more math. If wearing a mask can prevent as little as 10% of infections. That in turn would prevent 530,000 deaths. Your mosquito chain link fence analogy is excellent. Strap a piece of chain link fence to the grill of your truck and drive to Cedar Key and back. There will be plenty of mosquito guts stuck to the fence.
      And we get it your handle is P(ink) Floyd and you love quoting their lyrics. It was the school board that voted in the mask mandate and it is the superintendent vigorously enforcing it. So hey P. Floyd – leave them teachers alone!

      • That’s the CASE fatality rate – the number of deaths divided by the number of identified cases. But estimates for INFECTION fatality rate divide by anywhere from 4 to 11 (and few people have any idea what the true number of unidentified cases is, but the current availability of home tests means that a LOT of people aren’t going to testing sites to find out if they have COVID). Not to mention that the overall fatality rate includes the early days when we knew nothing about treating COVID and had no approved drugs or vaccines to mitigate the risk. So we don’t know the infection fatality rate, but it’s lower than the case fatality rate by some factor. Plus we’re talking about schoolchildren, and the actual case fatality rate for schoolchildren in Florida is 0.0% (check the latest state report). There are a LOT of risks to children (like riding in a car) that are far more significant than COVID. The overall CFR for COVID is meaningless because of the order-of-magnitude differences in fatality rates by age. Using 1.6% for the elderly actually UNDERestimates their risk.

        And any study showing that masks stop 10% of infections is either a model that assumes some efficacy of masks or a mechanistic lab bench study that doesn’t take into account the way people wear/remove/replace/store/re-wear masks, not to mention the fact that there are no standards whatsoever for the cloth masks worn by most people.

        • Hi Jennifer. I completely agree the 1.6% number is somewhat misleading. Death rate is NOT number of covid deaths over total population. The 0.2% number is completely wrong – and I am tired of people using it.
          The 10% is number one found from a engineering mask model study out of Canada. And also is easy to multiply to display how a small amount of mitigation can have big results at the national level. And yes, very few kids die from Covid-19, (588 nationally https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics) but many get infected – and can then infect other more susceptible people.
          In my opinion we spend too much time assuming there are only 2 outcomes life or death. I wish there was better data on morbidity rate and long-covid rate. I do know of many locals spending months unable to work, and kids spending several weeks in the hospital due to Covid-19 infection – Neither sounds particularly cheap.
          A new preliminary study shows that mask mandated schools had lower infection rates than non-mask mandated schools.
          https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7039e3.htm?s_cid=mm7039e3_w#contribAff

          • I don’t know why you brought up COVID deaths as a percent of the population because I didn’t say anything like that. And the “school mask study” covered a period that only overlapped the school year by 2 weeks in most places, so no conclusions can be drawn. The case rate in children simply mirrored the case rates in those counties.

  • Jennifer and Len are the best! You wont find their style of factual reporting in the Gainesville USA TODAY Toilet Paper! If you find anything in that paper it is by far 2-4 days later than the news and always slanted to the left. Read the Alachua Chronicle if you want timely and factual news!

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