OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is making good on the state’s threat to school superintendents.
As Conservative Brief reported earlier on Tuesday, the DeSantis administration threatened to withhold the paychecks of any superintendents or school board members who refuse to abide by the governor’s executive order banning mask mandates in schools.
The Florida Department of Education announced an investigation into Broward County Schools for their refusal to abide by the order in a letter directed to interim superintendent Vickie Cartwright and Broward County School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood, which expressed “grave concern” regarding the school board’s response to the governor’s order against making the use of masks a requirement.
As stated in the letter, Florida has declared that parents have the right to opt-out their students from any such requirements or recommendations made by schools or school boards, as established in state law.
“This letter is sent to express my brave concern regarding your district’s significant neglect in response to the recently adopted emergency rule 64DER21-12 from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH),” wrote Richard Corcoran, Florida’s Commissioner of Education. “The order, issued on August 6, 201, by the Florida Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, is explicit in its expectations for ensuring that any mandated mask policies imposed by a district or school ‘must allow for parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face covering or mask.’”
“The emergency rule does not require parents to submit medical documentation from a physician or a nurse practitioner in order to opt-out,” it continued. “Because the rule invokes the Parents’ Bill of Rights, it does not contemplate or allow school districts to limit those rights by adding additional requirements in order to opt-out and any such requirement is inconsistent with the emergency rule. The action taken today by the Broward County School Board meeting makes it clear that you have no current intentions of complying with this order, which is intended to guarantee school choice options to parents/guardians regarding their child while also protecting families and students federal and state-protected rights to privacy.”
The commissioner wrote: “Section 1008.32, Florida Statutes, states, ‘The State Board of Education shall oversee the performance of district school boards and the Florida College System institution board of trustees in enforcement of all laws and rules.’ Further, section 1008.32(2)(a), Florida Statutes, states that the ‘Commissioner of Education may investigate allegations of noncompliance with law or state board rule and determine probable cause.”
“Based on this authority established in law, I am immediately initiating an investigation of non-compliance with rules adopted by the Florida Department of Health and the Florida State Board of Education on August 6, 2021,” wrote Corcoran. “In commencing this investigation, I am demanding that you provide a written response by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 13, 2021, documenting how your district is complying with FDOH rule 64DER21-12. Any failure to adequately document and substantiate full compliance with this rule will result in sanctions permitted under law in section 1008.32(4)(b), Florida Statutes.”
“Depending on the facts presented, I may recommend to the State Board of Education that the Department withhold funds in an amount equal to the salaries for the Superintendent and all members of the School Board,” he wrote.
“There is no room for error or leniency when it comes to ensuring compliance with policies that allow parents and guardians to make health and educational choices for their children,” wrote Corcoran. “Therefore, it is imperative that you work together as the Superintendent and the School Board to remedy this glaring non-compliance and report the resolution to the Florida Department of Education by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 13, 2021.”
“Again, if this matter is not addressed by submitting the documentation establishing compliance with the law, the maximum accountability measures provided for under the law will be imposed,” Corcoran concluded.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com