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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.”

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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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