State funding previously withheld over mask policies returned to local school districts

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Two local school districts said they received state funding that was previously withheld over their mask policies.

Leaders with Orange County Public Schools said they received more than $31,000 from the state Nov. 29.

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

Brevard County school officials said the state paid them more than $18,000 that same day.

The State Board of Education had withheld state funds from several Florida school districts earlier this year after school leaders had instituted mask policies for students.

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

Several school districts in Florida were sanctioned by the state in October after the state said school leaders “willingly and knowingly violated the rights of students and parents” by instituting mandatory mask policies in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Read: Judge dismisses challenge to ban on Florida school mask mandates

Other school districts sanctioned by the state were Alachua, Broward, Duval, Leon, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.

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Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.