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Leon County School board members react to salary loss

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:11 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County School board members are now working without pay after the state ruled the district’s new COVID policies still violate the law.

Parents can once again opt students out of wearing masks, but the school district’s quarantine rules are still a sticking point.

Some school board members tell WCTV they are disappointed in the state board’s decision.

“Leon County residents have elected us to make decisions in their best interest and that’s all we are asking to do,” said the vice-chair of the Leon County School Board, Darryl Jones.

While frustrated by the state’s actions, Jones says district leaders are committed to health and safety.

“We want to make certain that the policies that we put forth relative to quarantining, masking, are finally and narrowly tailored based up what we see as being the COVID responses in our local community,” explained Jones.

But he says the state’s focus should be elsewhere.

“We’ve got to deal with issues like remedying learning laws, dealing with violent juvenile crime here in our local community, how schools can be engaged to make certain that we are able to create lifelong learners,” he said.

“My concern is and continues to be for the financial wellbeing of the school district, the safety of our children, the protection of their health and their mental health,” said Dee Dee Rasmussen, LCS board member who represents District 4.

She says she’s not worried about her salary.

“I am worried however that this one small step toward a direction that can be financially catastrophic for the district. That is a much bigger problem for me,” said Rasmussen.

The Leon County School Board is now challenging the state board’s decision. A two-day hearing is set to begin on Thursday.

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