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LCS now in compliance with state COVID rules, district funds will be returned

FILE PHOTO: Leon County Schools Adm. Offices.
FILE PHOTO: Leon County Schools Adm. Offices.(Emma Wheeler | WCTV)
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 2:11 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County School District is now in compliance with state rules on COVID-19 mask-wearing and quarantine policies, according to the Florida Department of Education.

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran made the announcement via Twitter Wednesday afternoon. A DOE spokesperson confirmed to WCTV this means all funds withheld from the school district, including school board member salaries, will be returned to LCS.

“I anticipate the withheld funds being released to them in the near future,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to the WCTV newsroom.

At a school board meeting on Oct. 26, Superintendent Rocky Hanna announced changes to the district’s COVID policies that brought it into compliance with the Florida Department of Health’s emergency rule. Those changes went into effect Monday, Nov. 1, and LCS sent a letter to the Florida Board of Education to review its status under the state rules.

LCS’ amended policy says parents have the choice of sending asymptomatic students who were in close contact with coronavirus back to the classroom, with or without a mask.

Hanna said the change was made because of a decline in coronavirus case numbers in the district and county; however, he also said if numbers increase again, LCS would change its policies with them.

“Data and numbers are moving us into compliance, not simply to comply,” Hanna said at that meeting.

Previously, DOH sanctioned LCS on Oct. 7 for requiring medical documents to opt-out of its in-school mask requirement for pre-K through eighth-grade students.

LCS allowed parents to opt-out of the mask requirement again following an Oct. 12 school board meeting.

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