90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Florida county is first to receive a federal grant making up for money lost over COVID-19 mask mandate

Alachua County Superintendent of School Carlee Simon speaks with Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona during an online call on Thursday. Image: USDOE via Twitter

A Florida county that bucked Gov. Ron DeSantis’s ban and was penalized for requiring masks at public schools got a bit of boost Thursday from the U.S. Department of Education.

Secretary Miguel Cardona told Alachua County Superintendent Carlee Simon in an online call that the district will receive $147,719 to make up for money withheld by the state.

It is the first district to receive a Project SAFE grant for that reason.

Cardona said the president wanted to support her and her leadership in protecting students. He said: “We got your back.”

He urges other districts that lost funding because of CDC-recommended strategies to apply for the grant.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.