Public schools who want to institute mask mandate rules can’t be denied federal funds, even if their state governments try to pressure them out of mask mandates, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.
The Florida state government threatened to withhold funds for schools in Broward and Alachua counties if they imposed mandatory mask rules. But the Biden administration has proposed using federal funds to make up the difference, with Cardona specifying Sunday that the schools “do not have to get the green light for [their] governor to use these funds.”
“We have to do everything in our power to keep them safe,” Cardona said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.“ “I spoke to the superintendents of those two communities and I let them know that we have their back. And yes, they can draw down on the funds that were promised to them so they can safely reopen schools.”
Cardona added that the administration is prepared to launch investigations into states barring masking rules through the Office for Civil Rights — a move the administration floated last week.