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Big Florida school districts defy governor over mask mandate

Photo: Thom Bradley
Photo: Thom Bradley

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties have become the third and fourth school districts in Florida to adopt stricter mask mandates, a day after school boards in Broward and Alachua counties faced threats of severe penalties for defying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, which says parents should decide whether their children wear masks.

The Hillsborough County school board voted 5-2 on Wednesday to adopt a 30-day mask mandate with a medical opt-out for students, teachers and staff.

Also Wednesday, the Miami-Dade school board passed a similar mandate with a medical exemption by a 7-1 vote.

All this after the Florida Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to consider taking away funding and removing school board members who defy the governor's order.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.