A judge on Friday dismissed a challenge to Florida’s ban on mask mandates in schools, finding it within Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) authority to issue the order.
Why it matters: State officials and educators have been caught in bitter clashes since the law was passed. Florida officials have started to withhold district funding and dock school board salaries in retaliation against school districts that defy the ban.
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The state has also cut overall funding to Alachua and Broward counties to offset federal aid meant to cushion the impact of sanctions, according to Politico.
School officials in Miami-Dade, Leon, Duval, Orange, Broward and Alachua counties brought forth the lawsuit, which Tallahassee Deputy Chief Judge Brian A. Newman rejected.
They failed to prove that the ban “is an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority,” Newman wrote in the ruling.
What to watch: The districts have filed a notice to appeal the ruling, ABC News reports.
The U.S. Department of Education has also asked an administrative judge at the federal level to block the state from withholding funding.
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