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WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he has directed Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to take direct action against governors who have signed off on executive orders prohibiting school districts from demanding the masking of children.
The Daily Wire reports:
Biden said, “For those who aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet — children under the age of 12 — masks are the best available protection for them and the adults around them. That’s why we need to make sure children are wearing masks in school.”
“Unfortunately, as we’ve seen throughout this pandemic, some politicians are trying to turn public safety measures — that is, children wearing masks in school — into political disputes for their own political gain. Some are even trying to take power away from local educators by banning masks in school. They’re setting a dangerous tone,” Biden added.
He went on to say, “Today, I am directing the Secretary of Education — an educator himself — to take additional steps to protect our children. This includes using all of his oversight authorities and legal actions, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators.”
Cardona has notified Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that, should the need arise, the U.S. Department of Education will extend funding to school districts acting in defiance of his July 30 executive order banning mask mandates in public schools.
“I have had conversations with superintendents and they have asked if this goes in that direction [they are denied funding], how do we get support? My message is, open the schools safely. We got your back,” Cardona said in an interview with ABC News.
This effectively circumvents DeSantis’ order, which threatens to withhold state funds from school districts that continue to mandate masks.
Cardona has also stated that the federal government would, if needed, fund schools defying a similar order enacted by Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas.
This is reflective of a broader belief held by the Biden administration — one which suggests that the autonomy of the states is only relevant when it is being used to do things that suit the Biden agenda. This autonomy immediately finds itself irrelevant should red state governors use it to enact policies that team Biden dislikes, thus allegedly justifying all political stops being pulled out to counteract them.
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