Feds give Broward schools more than $400K for defying Gov. DeSantis
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school money
The district is Florida's second to receive the federal funds.

For Broward County School Board members who voted to require students to wear masks in defiance of gubernatorial order, the federal government has restored what Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken away — and then some.

Broward County Public Schools received notice Tuesday that the district will be awarded a U.S. Department of Education Project Safe Grant of $420,957.

The district was under a Florida Department of Education order that the district’s state aid would be withheld in an amount equal to the salaries of its nine board members.

The reduction means the district is receiving $35,080 less in state aid for each month the mandate is in effect, according to a district news release. To date, $70,160 has been withheld, with the most recent funding withheld on Friday, according to a district news release.

“We are grateful for the support of the federal government in helping us continue to protect our students and staff from COVID-19,” said Broward County Schools’ Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright.

Broward County becomes the second school district in the state to receive the federal grant, which was set up to reimburse school districts financially penalized by state governments for their policies to stop the spread of COVID-19. Alachua County schools’ grant was announced last week.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona applauded districts adopting best practices — such as mandatory masks — to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We should be thanking districts for using proven strategies that will keep schools open and safe, not punishing them,” Cardona said, according to a news release. “We stand with the dedicated educators doing the right thing to protect their school communities, and this program will allow them to continue that critical work of keeping students safe.”

Even before the federal government announced its support for school board members who defied state laws banning mask mandates, Broward School Board members were ready for the hit. The board voted on July 28, before school began in August, to require masks as the delta variant surged. After that, DeSantis issued his executive order banning mask mandates at school.

The Broward School Board met to reconsider its vote given the Governor’s opposition and threat to withhold School Board salaries.

They decided to stand firm.

“I guess I’ll go to my community to set up a GoFundMe or work at McDonald’s,” said School Board Chairwoman Rosalind Osgood at that Aug. 11 meeting. “At least I’ll be able to have a moral conscience and know I didn’t put someone’s life at risk.”

Other states to impose mask mandate bans include Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Ron Ogden

    September 28, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Joe Biden usurps the power of the state, and thus denies the Constitution. The so-called “supremacy clause” does not apply. There is no federal law–one written and passed by Congress, endorsed by the President and sanctioned by the courts–that allows this power-grabbing tyrant to impose his will on a state-controlled school. This is rank despotism, and it is impeachable.

    • Alex

      September 29, 2021 at 7:20 am

      Then why hasn’t DeAnus and his poodle AG Moody sued?


      Because you’re full of crap?


  • Alex

    September 29, 2021 at 7:16 am


    Joe does the right thing.

    If you put kids health and lives in danger through legal trickery and BS legislation to further your Presidential ambitions – you will be attacked and stopped by the Federal Government.

  • Mr Right

    September 29, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    The current washington regime is overstepping its bounds. Desantis would be in his right to withhold the same amount from the state contribution to the school district.

    Cannot wait for dementia joe to leave washington for the last time.

  • JD

    September 30, 2021 at 6:57 am

    This is no more overstepping bounds than what Desantis did when he overruled the local school boards under the guise of parental freedoms.

    Put items like this to a local (or even parental) vote so we can insure the democratic process. Otherwise to say when the Feds step in as overreach is hypocritical.

    There’s a number of these type of bills or orders that took away the ability of local regulation, i.e. energy regulation in new construction, barring municipality based internet service providers, etc. They’re called “pre-emptive” laws at the state level which prevent local munis from self governing.

    • Andre

      October 1, 2021 at 9:39 am

      DeSantis has every right to Overrule the Local Clowns when they break HB 241, the State Law. Biden has nothing to do with the States, its called the 10th Amendment.

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Comments are closed.


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