The Florida Board of Education has voted to fund students who move to another school because they are being harassed at school over COVID-19.
The students and their parents can choose any school they want for their children to attend.
Of course, the school where the students leave loses the funding they would have gotten if he stayed. The money comes in the form of what is called a Hope Scholarship.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that parents can apply for a voucher in ‘instances where a child has been subjected to COVID-19 harassment.
They can then use the voucher to move their children to the school of their choice.
The Board’s definition of COVID harassment is “any threatening, discriminatory, insulting, or dehumanizing verbal, written or physical conduct an individual student suffers in relation to, or as a result of, school districts protocols for COVID-19, including masking requirement, the separation or isolation of students, or COVID-19 testing requirements.”
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Florida’s Board of Education approved an emergency rule Friday that will expand the state’s Hope Scholarship voucher program to allow students who don’t want to wear masks to transfer to private schools. The Hope Scholarship program was originally intended to offer vouchers to students who have been the victims of such things as bullying. Friday’s decisions allow the use of the private school vouchers if parents feel their children are being harassed by a school district’s COVID-19 safety policies, including mask requirements.
With some Florida Schools starting in the next few days, the State Board of Education held an emergency meeting to address school districts’ mask mandate policies approving two new rules. One prevents students who don’t show up for the first two weeks from being un-enrolled the other would allow students who have a problem with their school mask policy to transfer out. “The rule specifically allows students who are subjected to COVID-19 harassment to transfer to a private school or another school in the district or another district altogether,” said Matthew Mears, the State Board of Education, General Counsel during the meeting.