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  • Writer's pictureJillian Helding

FL Education Officials Return $878,000 to Districts Penalized in Mask Mandate Debate

After several months of legal challenges, state sanctions, and a special session that outlawed strict mask mandates in public schools, the Florida Department of Education returned $877,851 in state funds to eight school districts that had been punished over a COVID-related mask controversy.

“It has been put back, so we do have that money,” Russell Bruhn, communication staffer with the Brevard County school district, told the Phoenix.

The return of the money came at a time when the state’s education department was under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Education over potential violations of federal education laws. The USDE had filed a cease and desist complaint, over the state withholding money from school boards that had gotten federal grants to cover previous financial penalties.

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