School districts in Florida and Texas are bucking their Republican governors' bans on requiring masks for children and teachers as coronavirus cases soar in conservative areas with low vaccination rates.
The Broward County school board in Florida on Tuesday became the latest major district to flout an order by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis outlawing mask requirements in that state, prompting the administration of US President Joe Biden , a Democrat, to say it was considering supporting the school districts financially if DeSantis retaliates against them by withholding funds from officials' salaries.
The Dallas Independent School District said late Monday that it would also require masks, despite an order banning such mandates from Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
The acts of rebellion by school officials come as these states -- along with Louisiana, Arkansas and others -- are flooded with new cases after people resisted vaccines and mask mandates. Teachers and administrators are seeking to protect students, many of whom are under 12 years old and cannot get vaccinated.
Fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, US cases and hospitalizations have soared to six-month highs with no flattening of the curve in sight.