BY JENNIFER CABRERA
In response to a letter from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) on August 20, giving Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) 48 hours to respond before starting to withhold money from the district, ACPS Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon has issued her response.
In her letter, Simon says ACPS “maintains our prior positions,” and “We argue that we are in compliance” with the emergency rules. In response to FLDOE’s request for the amounts of the salaries of the school board members, the letter states that the monthly withholding “threatened by the state is $13,129. The School District of Alachua County will not permit the reduction of funds from student services or teacher pay.” In fact, the order from FLDOE states, “Further, the School District of Alachua County may not permit the reduction of funds based upon this order to impact student services or teacher pay.”
Simon continues to assert that “Universally masking is the most effective strategy we currently have, besides vaccination, to meet [the obligation to provide a safe and secure public education to all students].” She states the current numbers of cases (273 students and 63 adults), then says, “This number is growing every day. We are using masks as a protective device to reduce transmission of the virus.”