Duval school administrators face $16.3M in penalties from district’s 2021 mask mandate policy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County Public Schools stands to lose $16.3 million in the coming school year under Florida’s House’s proposed budget.

It’s being called the ‘Putting Parents First Adjustment’ and it comes as a punishment to the district over its mask mandate policy from earlier in the school year.

The announcement came at the conclusion of the House K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee Thursday.

1,600 non-classroom school administrators making over $100,000 in 12 counties would have their salaries redistributed to other districts.

“Their salaries are $200 million and that is where we will be funding and that is where we’ll be funding the Putting Parents First categorical,” said Committee Chair Representative Randy Fine (R-Pal Bay).

Fine said the proposal comes as retribution against districts who bucked the state’s mask mandate ban.

In Duval alone, Fine calculated 93 administrators stand to lose $16.3 million in salaries.

“We looked at these 12 school districts that didn’t think that they had to follow the law and frankly spent taxpayer resources violating the law. So, we realized they have more money than they need,” said Fine.

Jacksonville State Representative Tracie Davis said the cuts would be devastating for DCPS.

“This is the complete situation of penalizing school districts for listening to our medical professionals, for listening to the majority of the parents and the community,” said Davis (D-Jacksonville).

Fine said the districts would be prohibited from back filling the salary cuts with funds meant for the classroom.

“They can cut back on the legal fees they’ve used to sue the state when they don’t like state law, they can cut back on Critical Race Theory directors and training,” said Fine.

But Davis is hopeful Fine’s plan won’t make it in the final state budget.

“My colleagues and I are going to continue to fight these bad education bills and the attacks on the school board members and we can be confident that the Senate is not looking at this type of attack on our school districts,” said Davis.

Of the nine counties in our coverage area, Duval would be the only district to lose money.

The other eight actually would stand to gain a combined total of nearly $21 million additional dollars as a reward for not implementing strict mask mandates.


Baker: +$761,203

Bradford: +$465,805

Clay: +$6,215,473

Columbia: +$1,630,371

Duval: -$16,385,599

Nassau: +$2,061,001

Putnam: +$1,619,821

St Johns: +$7,836,164

Union: +$360,377