FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — The squabble between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Biden Administration over school mask mandate continued Friday when DeSantis said the federal government should stay out of parental decisions.
Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that he would have the Education Department use its powers against Republican governors who block districts from enacting mask mandates in response to rising COVID-19 cases.
“I think it’s absolutely outrageous,” DeSantis said when asked about Biden’s plan to counter state authority.
In his rebuttal, DeSantis said a parent’s decision to have their child wear a mask in school is protected by the Parents’ Bill of Rights. The bill was the foundation of DeSantis’ executive order in July that resulted in the Florida Department of Education and Department of Public Health to create rules that effectively keep schools from forcing students to wear masks at the risk of losing state funding.
The Biden Administration has repeatedly opposed state governments that block local districts from putting mandates into place.
“If you aren’t going to fight COVID-19, at least get out of the way of everyone else that’s trying,” Biden said Wednesday.
Biden tweeted Friday afternoon that his team will do everything it can to support schools and that American Rescue Plans can be used to backfill the salaries of school officials who have funding threatened by the state.
Let me be clear: We will do everything we can to support local school districts in safely reopening schools. American Rescue Plan funds can be used to backfill the salaries of the brave Florida school board members, superintendents, and other educators keeping our children safe. https://t.co/sDoZHm3MMH— President Biden (@POTUS) August 20, 2021
In response to Biden’s actions, DeSantis shot back by saying the federal government is empowering itself by taking away a parent’s agency over their own child.
“At the end of the day thought, it is not the federal government’s choice,” he said “It is not the federal government’s right to come in and undercut parents, and it’s not the federal government’s right or responsibility to overrule Florida law, which is very clear.”