The Florida Department of Education (DOE) has reimbursed money it withheld from eight school districts across the state that enacted mask mandates earlier this year.
The DOE said it returned $877,851 that was withheld from Alachua County, Brevard County, Broward County, Duval County, Leon County, Miami-Dade County, Orange County and Palm Beach County.
The districts were penalized for instituting mask requirements for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. The DOE voted to hold back the monthly salary of school board members, as well as any amount of federal grant funds awarded to those districts by the Biden administration.
A Florida DOE spokesman said the money was returned once the schools came into compliance with the law.
“We are glad that these districts have finally recognized that parents have the right to make personal and private health care and educational decisions for their children. The Department will continue to make sure those rights are protected,” agency spokesman Jared Ochs told The Hill.