An article in The Miami Herald reported that Florida could leave on the table some $2.3 billion in federal money earmarked for education because of inaction by Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration. Richard Corcoran, the state’s education commissioner, has failed to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education on how the funds would be spent, a requirement for the money to be released. Florida is the only state in the country not to apply for this round of education funding.
“FDOE’s delay raises significant concerns because of the unnecessary uncertainty it is creating for school districts across the state and because it is hindering their ability to confidently plan for how to use these funds to address the needs of students,” wrote Ian Rosenblum, the deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs at the U.S. Department of Education.
While neglecting billions of dollars in federal aid, the education department under DeSantis has been very active in enforcing its ban on masks against several school districts around the state, putting the health of hundreds of thousands of students at risk.
“Just as in public health, the DeSantis administration gets an F- when it comes to education,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesperson José Parra. “At a time when tens of thousands have fallen behind because of the pandemic, the digital divide that plagues our schools, and class sizes and teacher shortages remain an issue, DeSantis and Corcoran are more focused on stopping educators from protecting our children than applying for much needed resources for our students.”