Two Florida school districts drop mask mandates after DeSantis threatened to withhold funding

Two school districts that had mandated masks for students because of COVID-19 are reversing course after Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday barring such mandates.

The Broward County School Board voted last week to require masks as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state spike because of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.

But DeSantis’ executive order blocked school boards from requiring students to wear masks. The order directed state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to withhold funds for "noncompliant" school boards that impose mask requirements.

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"Broward County Public Schools intends to comply with the governor’s latest executive order," the district told The News Service of Florida in an email Monday.

RELATED: DeSantis threatens to withhold funding from school districts who mandate masks

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended that teachers, students and school staff members wear masks in schools.

The Gadsden County district also had attempted to institute a mask requirement for students as the academic year gets ready to start.

On Monday, the district told the News Service that the decision had been reversed following the executive order.

"Gadsden County Schools will do as much as we can to follow CDC guidelines as the governor will allow," a spokeswoman for the district said.

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