School districts that defy their states’ orders by implementing mask requirements and other COVID-19 restrictions are expected to receive new financial support from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday announced that it will start a new grant program called Project SAFE (Supporting America’s Families and Educators). In the coming weeks, eligible school districts will be invited to apply for the grants, which will be distributed “as expeditiously as possible and on an ongoing basis.” The grant will be open for application by school districts that “have funds withheld by their state or are otherwise financially penalized for implementing strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, such as universal indoor masking,” according to the Department. School districts are expected to used the Project SAFE money to “restore funding withheld by state leaders,” the Department said. One …


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