Education proposal would redistribute $200 million from counties who voted for mask mandates

The "Putting Parents First" budget amendment to the Florida Public School Education Budget would redistribute $200 million from 12 school districts. Those districts voted for mandatory mask mandates last school year.

"Call it ‘putting parents first’ but what it really does is put kids last," said Judi Hayes.

Hayes has two children who attend Orange County schools. According to OCPS, they will lose over $16.5M in the proposal.  

"There’s no way you can look at this and say taking money from public education which is already strapped for cash is a good thing for kids. It’s not," said Hayes.

State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, proposed the idea which would withhold the $200 million from the pay of school administrators who make over $100,000 a year.  Orange, Volusia, and Brevard counties are three of the 12 school districts that will be impacted. 

"I got to witness firsthand the child abuse that these politicians and bureaucrats inflicted on children including my own son," said Fine

Fine said that even with the redistribution, every county will still receive more money than last school year. He believes students won’t be affected by the cuts.

"We are not telling them how to come up with that savings except that it must be taken from central administration and what I hope this does and what it says that these out-of-control politicians and bureaucrats break the law there will be consequences," said Fine.

Orange County says 92 of its administrators would be affected by the amendment.

"The proposed penalty does not actually put the parents of Orange County Public Schools first, since 90% of them had their children wearing face masks during the period in question," said OCPS in Also saying in a letter to representatives. "Our parents supported the actions taken by the school board to protect their children and those most vulnerable to the impact of the virus."

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