Florida state officials withhold school district funding over mask mandates

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida state education officials have begun to make good on threats to withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates.

The move comes despite a circuit judge who last week ruled the ban unconstitutional.

Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced Monday that the Florida Department of Education has withheld an amount equal to monthly school board member salaries in Alachua and Broward counties.

The Republican DeSantis had been threatening to impose financial penalties on school boards for weeks.

Democratic President Joe Biden has said if that happened, federal money would be used to cover any costs.

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