HomeEducationU.S. Secretary of Education supports districts that are implementing universal masking
U.S. Secretary of Education supports districts that are implementing universal masking
August 13, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent a letter to Florida school district superintendents today, encouraging them to implement universal masking. The letter said that districts’ decisions “will either help our students be in school and be safe, or our decisions will hurt students. Through no fault of Florida’s educators, I am deeply concerned about your State leaders’ actions to date.” Cardona says that Florida’s rules that permit parents to opt out of mask mandates “needlessly put students, families, and educators at risk.”
Cardona continues, “Several school districts in Florida have already moved to adopt universal masking policies despite the State’s prohibition, and I want you to know that the U.S. Department of Education stands with you” (emphasis in original).
Cardona writes that he sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner Richard Corcoran today, reminding them that ESSER funds from the American Rescue Plan of 2021 can be used “to support any activity necessary to maintain operations, including making up for the pay that the Governor is threatening to withhold from superintendents and school board members who implemented universal masking policies that follow CDC guidance.”
The letter concludes: “On behalf of the Department, I want to thank you for all that you are doing to support Florida’s students. In these unprecedented and difficult times, the leadership and courage that you are showing will make a difference in the lives of the students whom you serve. The Department remains eager to support you, Florida’s educators, and your students and families as we move forward together.”
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