OCPS responds to state’s threat to withhold funding over mask mandate

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — As of Thursday, both Brevard and Orange counties have responded to the state’s mask mandate demands.

The state said it will withhold funds on a monthly basis, which amounts to 1/12 of the total annual compensation of the school board.

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Each district had 48 hours to respond to the governor’s letter with information confirming the salaries of all school board members.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins did that, responding with a letter listing the annual salaries for school board members.

READ: Brevard schools respond to DOE over mask mandates for students and staff

In the state’s order dated two days ago, it said the Orange County School Board’s masking policy did not comply with the state’s emergency rule that requires public schools to allow for a parent or legal guardian to opt the student out of wearing a mask.

In Orange County, the mask mandate applies to all students, teachers, staff and visitors while inside school buildings.

Read: Clock is ticking for Brevard Public Schools after state issues reprimand over mask mandate

Channel 9 asked the district if it will move forward with seeking federal grants to cover any compensation, or if it is planning to move forward with any legal action to fight the state board. We are still waiting for answers to those questions.

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Karen Parks

Karen Parks, WFTV.com

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.