NPR reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is prepared to act against school districts that require their students to wear race masks, despite the fact that the coronavirus is surging in almost every county in the state.

A battle is brewing in Florida over whether students will have to wear masks when they return to the classroom this fall.

Several Florida school districts are keeping their mask mandates in place for the upcoming school year, despite an executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis that leaves it up to parents to decide whether their children wear face coverings in school. School boards that don’t eliminate mask mandates could face the loss of state funding.

South Florida’s Broward County Public Schools, the second-largest district in Florida, cited safety as its top priority announcing the decision to maintain its mask requirement pending further guidance from the state as coronavirus cases surge in Florida.

The Sunshine State has seen a rash of new COVID-19 infections in recent weeks. On Saturday, it recorded 21,683 new coronavirus cases, its highest single-day total since the pandemic began.

But DeSantis, a Republican, said that because vaccines are now prevalent, the decision to mask students should be up to their parents — not the school district.

In other words, school districts that act to protect students and staff will be punished.