Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of a handful of Republican governors trying to block school districts from requiring masks in the classroom.
Under DeSantis’ direction, the state health department adopted a rule that lets families opt out of locally ordered school mask mandates. The State Board of Education approved another rule that allows parents to secure vouchers for their children to attend a different school if they encounter pushback on their refusal to use masks. The DeSantis administration threatened to penalize school officials financially if they bucked the rules.
Much of DeSantis’ argument was based on his belief that parents have a right to determine what’s best for their child, as well as his doubts about whether mask mandates are effective at curbing the covid virus in a school setting. (When PolitiFact looked into the latter argument, multiple experts pointed to research showing that mask-wearing is effective at protecting children from covid-19 and preventing covid transmission in schools.)