Florida OKs school vouchers in districts requiring masks


FILE – In this Monday, April 5, 2021, file photo, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava holds up her mask as she speaks during a news conference, in Miami. As coronavirus cases continue to soar, two Florida mayors, including Levine Cava, are announcing mask and vaccine mandates and defying Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is firmly opposed to any pandemic restrictions. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — 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.

The parents could request the vouchers under provisions normally used to protect children who are being bullied.

The meeting was scheduled a week after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the department to come up with ways of having school districts that mandate mask-wearing provide other alternatives for parents, saying they had the legal right to make decisions about their children’s health and education.

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