County school districts have received cash from President Joe Biden's administration to make up for state pay cuts imposed over a student anti-coronavirus mask mandate.
Broward County Public Schools received more than $420,000, and Alachua County school Superintendent Carlee Simon said her district received $148,000 through a U.S. Department of Education program.
Alachua, is the first district in the nation to receive such a grant, as Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials cut salaries paid to school board members who voted to require masks for students.
“With these grants, we're making sure schools and communities across the country that are committed to safely returning to in-person learning know that we have their backs,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
The Broward County School Board voted to keep its facial covering policy in place, and the state began withholding $35,000 each month from the district's funding.
"We are grateful for the support of the federal government in helping us continue to protect our students and staff from COVID-19,” said Interim Broward Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright. “I support our School Board for their focus on doing what is in the best interest of our families to ensure our schools continue to provide safe and healthy learning environments."