After defying a ban on mask mandates put in place by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the Alachua and Broward County school districts have been denied federal funding.
The Florida Department of Education voted earlier this week to deny Alachua County roughly $160,000 and Broward around $450,000.
The move comes as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and President Joe Biden have been battling over COVID-related mandates for masks and vaccines.
The state of Florida has withheld funding from two school districts that enforced their own coronavirus mask mandates.https://t.co/K07lE9Hfmm
— WICS ABC 20 (@wics_abc20) October 28, 2021
Not The First Districts To Get Pushback
Earlier this month, eight school districts in the Sunshine State came under the crosshairs of the Board of Education (which oversees the Department of Education) for enforcing mask mandates: Besides Alachua and Broward counties, Brevard, Duval, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, and Palm Beach districts.
Back in August, Gov. DeSantis had threatened to withhold the salaries of school district superintendents and school board members who decided to go against the mask mandate ban.
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COVID Cases In Florida Plummeting
In the last two months, COVID cases in Florida haves dropped as much as 90%, and Florida now boasts the lowest rate in the nation.
While Broward County schools may be in the news for getting their federal funding slashed, they are also at the top of the page for a still more dubious reason.
The Florida Department of Education is investigating an incident in which elementary-aged children were taken on a “field trip” to a place called Rosie’s, a local gay bar.
Sarah Leonardi, a member of the Broward County school board tweeted about the trip, saying, “I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone … the students and I had a fun walk over and learned a lot about our community!”
The bar is located in an area marketed as “Florida’s most famous gayborhood.”
Local media like the Miami Herald tried to downplay the trip, writing, “What happens when a School Board member takes elementary kids on a field trip to a bar and grill with a gay clientele? A Twitter storm.”
They describe some of the menu items at the “bar and grill”:
The description on the menu for the ”Left One” chicken breast sandwich, for example, is “’Cause sometimes the left ones are bigger!” Then there are the “Rhoda Cowboy,” “Miley High Club” and the “Young Ranch Hand.”
Leonardi complained to the media that “she and her family and friends “have been attacked with bigoted comments and death threats.”
They claim that students have been going on trips to the gay bar for 10 years.
I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone @WiltonManorsES’s field trip to the incredible Rosie’s! The students and I had a fun walk over and learned a lot about our community! A huge thank you to @RosiesBnG for hosting this special field trip every year! pic.twitter.com/A3rpMbyUJP
— School Board Member Sarah Leonardi (@bcpsleonardi) October 27, 2021
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