Several school districts in Florida have signaled their willingness to defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring mask mandates, leaving a showdown looming. RedState reported on the mutiny taking place, with the question being how the governor would respond.
He’s apparently settled on his first counter-strike, with the Florida Board of Education (which works closely with DeSantis) passing an emergency rule allowing parents to put their kids in other schools via vouchers.
BREAKING NEWS: Florida’s Board of Education has approved an emergency rule to allow private school vouchers if parents feel their children are being harassed by a school district’s COVID-19 safety policies, including requirements to wear masks. https://t.co/cXYVD2W7UE
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) August 6, 2021
This is a good first step, though more drastic measures may need to be taken later to ensure parents are able to exercise choice when it comes to their children wearing disgusting Petri dishes of filth on their faces.
I’m not fluent in Florida law, especially dealing with funding mechanisms, so how much further DeSantis can go isn’t clear to me. Can he pull overall funding from a school that defies the order? Would he want to do that knowing it may hurt some parents and students who otherwise have nowhere else to go? Those are complicated questions, and what DeSantis wants to do vs. what he can do may come into conflict.
Regardless, this is an excellent first step in giving parents a choice when faced with a school district that wants to spit on science and data. There’s a large swath of evidence (see here and here) that says mask mandates are not effective for adults. There’s even more reason to believe they don’t work for children, who are already not major vectors for spread.
Furthermore, all teachers have had the chance to get vaccinated. Add to that the fact that children are largely invulnerable from COVID, including the Delta variant, and any sane person has to be asking why a school board would mandate mask-wearing. It’s all virtue-signaling theater, and DeSantis knows that.
I’ll also say that moving to a voucher system like this is what every state should be doing anyway. If it takes fighting back against mask mandates to get the ball rolling, that’s fine with me and most others who support school choice. There is no reason to keep wasting money in failing public schools when that money can go directly to parents to decide how they want to educate their children. If that’s a private school, fine. If it’s homeschooling, great. Far-left school board members performing for the plaudits of Washington-based Democrats should not hold the kind of power they currently do over people’s children.
DeSantis continues to not back down from a fight, and that is why he’s so respected in conservative circles. But past that, he’s doing what is right. We do not live in a medical security state, and it’s long past time that people stop accepting that reality.