Tennessee Special Ed Students Face Narrowed Choices Without Remote Learning.
Disability Scoop (10/8, Wadhwani) says Tennessee’s decision to cut remote learning has “narrowed the choices available to many parents of kids with disabilities, who make up a considerable portion of the state’s public school enrollment.” Parents of children with disabilities have field at least three lawsuits against the state, arguing the state’s ban “on universal mask requirements in schools interferes denies their children’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act to safely access schools.”
Wall Street Journal (October 7)
The Florida Board of Education authorized sanctions against eight school districts for implementing mask mandates that board members said violate a state rule barring such requirements. Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is expected to levy punishments in the coming days against the school districts in Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Duval, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties, which include five of the six largest in the state.
DOJ To Send Federal Law Enforcement Personnel To Investigate Harassment Of Educators Over Mask Mandates, Other Issues.
The New York Times (10/5, Green) reports the Department of Justice, “in response to pleas from national groups representing school administrators, is deploying federal law enforcement officials around the country to help address instances where people have threatened and harassed educators over divisive policy issues such as mask mandates and teaching about racism, and possibly pursue prosecutions.” Referring to “a ‘disturbing spike’ in harassment against school personnel in recent months, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo on Monday directing the F.B.I. and U.S. attorneys’ offices to meet with local officials over the next month to coordinate a response to the threats, which he said ‘are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values.’”
Florida Education Commissioner Wants To Financially Sanction Districts Violating State’s Mask, Quarantine Rules.
The Miami Herald (10/5, Ceballos) reports that on Thursday, Florida’s Board of Education “will hold a conference call...to consider whether 11 school districts...are complying with state rules that bar strict mask mandates and quarantine protocols.” As of Tuesday, “Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has found that 10 of the 11 districts are acting in violation of state rules for requiring students to wear masks unless they have a medical exemption.” He “said...should the board agree to enforce state rules as he recommends, [Corcoran] will request the state withhold funds in an equal amount to all school board members’ salaries who voted for a mask mandate.” He “will also request that the state withhold state funds in an amount equal to any federal grant funds awarded to each district.”
The South Florida Sun Sentinel (10/5, Travis) reports, “A week after the Biden administration awarded Broward Schools $421,000 for defying a state ban on mask mandates...Corcoran has threatened to take that money away.” Regardless, “the School Board refused to budge Tuesday, voting 8 to 1 to maintain its mask mandate.”
Appeals Court Denies South Carolina AG’s Request To Allow School Mask Mandate Bans.
The AP (10/5, Kinnard) reports, “On Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied state Attorney General Alan Wilson’s request that South Carolina’s law prohibiting school mask mandates be allowed to take effect while a lawsuit over the COVID-19 pandemic measure goes forward.”
The Charleston (SC) Post and Courier (10/5, Connor) also covers the story.
Minnesota Governor Calls For COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing Requirements For School Employees, Long-Term Care Workers.
The AP (10/5, Karnowski) reports that on Tuesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) called on legislators “to approve a series of new moves to respond to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccine and testing requirements for teachers, school staff, and long-term care workers, and measures to relieve strained hospital capacity.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (10/5, Van Berkel) also covers the story