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UPDATE: Alachua schools receive first federal funds to cover state mask mandate penalty, governor’s office responds

Biden administration gives Alachua County first Project SAFE grant to cover funds taken by...
Biden administration gives Alachua County first Project SAFE grant to cover funds taken by state over mask mandate(WCJB)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 1:44 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Less than a month after the Florida Department of Education withheld funds from Alachua County Public Schools due to the district’s mask mandate, the Biden Administration awarded the district the nation’s first first Project SAFE grant Thursday.

The total amount of the grant is $147,719.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the grants are intended to be distributed to school districts being penalized by the state for implementing COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

At the end of August, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran withheld the monthly payments for school board members in Alachua and Broward counties who voted to enact mask mandates.

Now Governor DeSantis’ office is responding to the federal government stepping in to keep school board member paid.

In a statement emailed to WCJB TV20, the governor’s press secretary Christina Pushaw says:

ACPS sent us this press release about the Project SAFE grant:

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