By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the age of COVID and mask-wearing, students at one Broward public school are getting a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Blanche Ely High school unveiled a brand new open-air cafeteria Thursday, complete with tables and large ceiling fans.

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“Just being able to enjoy the outdoors, I’m excited,” said student Reagan Hall.

Less exciting is the continuing battle between the Broward School District and
the Florida Department of Education.

Over Broward’s mask mandate to control the raging COVID delta variant.

The state says they are violating the law. The district says they are in compliance.

The state says they are violating the law.

On Wednesday night, the Department of Education sent another letter to Broward demanding they send daily counts of students who refuse to wear masks.

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The district is also ordered to provide the names of the students and their parent’s names and addresses.

“We’ve already put it in our system to capture the infoRation,” said Broward interim superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.

School board members are waiting to hear if they will lose their pay for not following
the order to make masks optional.

“We are doing the job we were elected to do and if that means going without pay then so be it. We won’t back down,” said board member Nora Rupert.

A decision is expected Friday in the lawsuit filed by parents who favor masks.

Miami-Dade says they haven’t had any communication from the Florida Department of Education over their mask mandate.

School in Miami-Dade started Monday.

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“We’ve had ten parents file complaints out of 300,000 students,” said Miami-Dade schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho.