By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a grant of $420,957 to Broward County Public Schools.

The grant is meant to reimburse school districts that were financially penalized for implementing strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools, such as requiring masks.

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On July 28, 2021, the Broward County School Board voted to uphold its current Facial Covering Policy due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

In August 2021, the Florida Department of Education began withholding $35,080 from the District’s funding allocation.

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Officials said, to date, $70,160 has been withheld by the state, with the most recent funding withheld on Friday, September 24.

“We are grateful for the support of the federal government in helping us continue to protect our students and staff from COVID-19,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Cartwright. “I support our School Board for their focus on doing what is in the best interest of our families to ensure our schools continue to provide safe and healthy learning environments.”

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“Every student across the country deserves the opportunity to return to school in-person safely this fall, and every family should be confident that their school is implementing policies that keep their children safe,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We should be thanking districts for using proven strategies that will keep schools open and safe, not punishing them. We stand with the dedicated educators doing the right thing to protect their school communities, and this program will allow them to continue that critical work of keeping students safe.”

CBSMiami.com Team