TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said in a letter Wednesday that mask use is a personal choice and schools should make mask use voluntary.
In the letter, Corcoran says school districts should amend their policies for the 2021-22 school year to make masks optional.
"With this return, we ask that districts, which currently are implementing a mandated face-covering policy, revise their policy to be voluntary for the 2021-2022 school year," the letter said in part.
In the letter, Corcoran said the Department of Education had reviewed data from across the state and did not find a correlation between sweeping mask mandates and the presence of COVID-19 in schools.
"Broad sweeping mandatory face-covering policies serve no remaining good at this point in our schools," the letter said.
Special mention was made for disabled or English learning students that are adversely affected by mask mandates.
"Mandatory face-covering policies inhibit peer-to-peer learning in our classrooms and they may also unintentionally create a barrier for students and families who would otherwise choose in-person instruction if such a policy were not in place. Such policies may also impede instruction in certain cases, especially for students with disabilities and English language learners who benefit from viewing a teacher’s face and mouth."
Read the full letter below: