Florida education commissioner asks school districts to make face masks voluntary for upcoming school year

Coronavirus

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is asking school superintendents to make face masks voluntary for next school year.

Corcoran sent a letter on Wednesday, April 14 to every school district superintendent that stated “we ask that districts which currently are implementing a mandated face covering policy, revise their policy to be voluntary for the 2021-2022 school year.”

Education leaders in Pinellas County tell 8 On Your Side they hope to make face masks voluntary for next year, but right now it’s too early to make that decision.

“I believe it’s just bit premature, because we have no way of foreseeing what our numbers in Pinellas will be like at that time,” said Nancy Velardi, President of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association.

During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Dr. Michael Grego told the board he hopes next school year can be as “normal” as possible and that masks can be voluntary, but right now it’s just too soon to make a decision.

“I can’t even say that yet for this summer. I think we need to get through this year,” said Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent for Pinellas County Schools.

The President for the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association tells 8 On Your Side she thinks the decisions need to be left up to each individual school district.

“There is no uniform way to make this decision. Each local need to have control based on their local numbers,” added Velardi.

To view the full letter Richard Corcoran sent each school superintendent.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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