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Rep. Fine's proposed budget cuts could hurt kids in districts with face mask mandates

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

The Orange County teachers union says a Florida House budget proposal to cut funding from districts that required face masks could end up hurting students. 

Under Republican State Rep. Randy Fine’s proposal, twelve districts could lose a collective $200 million in funding because of their face mask mandates.

That includes more than $16 million dollars cut from Orange County Public Schools.

Orange County Classroom Teachers Association president Wendy Doromal says the district might look to make up those cuts by lowering teacher pay further contributing to a statewide teacher shortage. 

“We have 165 vacancies and a lot of it has to do with the salaries we can offer to teachers. So that money would mean a lot to our school district and it’s a shame that someone would do that and it’s totally punitive and politically motivated.”

Doromal breaks it down this way.

“It will very strongly impact the district. Whether it’s in teacher raises, or raises for other employees, or operating expenses and materials and resources we need to advance student learning.”

Although the Florida House has included the proposal as part of its budget, the Senate has yet to adopt it, leaving the future of the Republican-backed initiative unclear. 

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.