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Florida has the highest number of confirmed pediatric hospitalizations from the virus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw, “The State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members, as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law.”

While it would seem that much of this is posturing and saber-rattaling. If financial pressures were applied as said, is there precedent that would enable locals to prevail and reverse said action?

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The relationship between a school board and the other state officials is purely a matter of state law.

Generally speaking, a state can impose generally applicable regulations that govern public school districts, and to a lesser extent, so can the federal government.

Whether this particular remedy is available in Florida would depend upon the relevant statutes. But, I very much doubt that this particular tactic is authorized by law. Instead, the normal course of action would be to apply to a state court for injunctive relief compelling the school district to follow the law, or to withhold funding for the school district as a whole. Normally, a state school board cannot directly control compensation of school board members or school district administrators.

Of course, there could be some obscure provision of Florida law that authorizes this of which I am not aware.

It is worth noting that Governor DeSantis, the incumbent Governor of Florida, has a track record of "not coloring within the lines" of what the law states that he has the authority to do.

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  • I note that the decision was provisionally reversed by a court and beyond his authority.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 10, 2021 at 21:35

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