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The Mask ‘Revolt’ In Florida Schools

Police stand near the entrance to the Miami-Dade School Board as protesters gathered outside the building Wednesday to argue for and against a mask mandate in the school district's upcoming academic year
Daniel Rivero
/
WLRN News
Police stand near the entrance to the Miami-Dade School Board as protesters gathered outside the building Wednesday to argue for and against a mask mandate in the school district's upcoming academic year

To mask or not to mask in Florida's public schools? Who gets to decide that is shaping up to be the biggest political battle in Florida this year. It's also the latest fight between state leaders and local school officials.

The battle between school districts and state leaders over mask mandates is just the latest in a longstanding power struggle between Tallahassee and local school boards. We discuss some previous fights — during the pandemic and beyond — and the often tense dynamic between state lawmakers and school officials.

Jessica Bakeman is senior editor for news at WLRN, South Florida's NPR member station. Previously, Bakeman served as WLRN's education reporter for four years. Bakeman was awarded the 2020 Journalist of the Year award from the Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Daniel Rivero is a reporter and producer for WLRN, covering Latino and criminal justice issues. Before joining the team, he was an investigative reporter and producer on the television series "The Naked Truth," and a digital reporter for Fusion.