Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced yesterday his intentions to end Florida’s yearly standardized testing requirements for public schools, known as the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA). The replacement for the FSA would be known as the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) and will be a progress monitoring system.
DeSantis made the announcement along with Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran with the hopes of reducing testing in the classrooms by up tot 75 percent, with the hopes of teachers being able to get back to traditional instruction and not concerning themselves with standardized test prep.
President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) is opening an investigation into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ mask mandate ban. Specifically, the U.S. DOE’s civil rights office will be leading the probe after the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of reinstating DeSantis’ mask mandate ban.
The Acting Assistant Secretary for the civil rights office, Suzanne Goldberg, wrote a letter to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran saying the federal government is concerned about Florida’s mask policies.
The Florida Board of Education has notified officials at two school districts that they must comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning mask mandates within 48 hours or face financial penalties.
In a letter sent on Friday, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said both Broward County and Alachua County must comply with the order.
“It is important to remember that this issue is about ensuring local school board members, elected politicians, follow the law. These public officials have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida. We cannot have government officials pick and choose what laws they want to follow,” Corcoran said in a statement.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has backed down from withholding salaries from school board members and superintendents who defy DeSantis’ statewide mask mandate ban. Alachua and Broward school districts are the two remaining holdout districts who are continuing to defy DeSantis’ order and mandate masks only providing for a doctor’s note exemption for students.
Earlier this week, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran penned a letter to the districts saying they had by 5:00 p.m. Friday to comply with the ban or face salary suspensions.
The Florida Board of Education is scheduling an emergency meeting on August 17 to discuss Alachua and Broward school districts regarding their mask mandates which go against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning mask mandates.
Earlier in the week, withholding salaries was a possible ramification, but after DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education slightly backtracked on the issue, their focus is now just funding cuts for the defiant districts. But, where the funding cuts come from is up to the school district.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving defiant school boards and school officials why are not following his executive order banning mask mandates until Friday to comply with the order.
Specifically, Broward County Schools received a letter from the Florida Board of Education saying Broward must backtrack on their district-wide mask mandate by 5:00 p.m. Friday. DeSantis’ executive order threatened the possibility of salaries being withheld for officials or school boards who act against the order.
Amid the debate over mask mandates in schools, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) took steps to provide options to parents.
In a Friday press release, the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis stated that “the Florida Department of Health and State Board of Education issued Emergency Rules to protect parents’ freedom to choose what is best for their children. These rules are pursuant to Executive Order 21-175 and encourage a practical and effective in-person learning environment for Florida’s schoolchildren during the upcoming school year, while preventing the unnecessary removal of healthy students from school and safeguarding the rights of parents and their children.”
“When the wellbeing of our students and our constitutional freedoms are at stake, we will stand up for Florida families,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Giving parents options to make these decisions is not controversial. I’m proud that today we took action to make sure school administrators respect parents’ rights to make educational and healthcare decisions for their families. I will continue to fight to protect Florida’s families from government overreach and to preserve their God-given rights.”
Working with the legislature, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) delivered a record-setting $765 million budget for teachers in the Sunshine State.
“These investments include $550 million to continue elevating minimum teacher salaries, as well as $215 million to provide all of Florida’s eligible public school principals and teachers with $1,000 disaster relief payments,” a press release from the governor’s office said.