U.S. says Arizona can’t use COVID-19 money just for schools without mask mandates

The Biden administration on Tuesday ordered Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to stop utilizing the states federal pandemic financing on a set of brand-new education grants that can only be directed to schools without mask mandates. Ducey, a Republican, created the grant programs in August to put pressure on school districts that have actually defied the states ban on mask requireds. Numerous states have actually banned mask requireds in schools Arizona is one of at least eight states that have laws or executive orders prohibiting mask requirements in public schools. The Education Department in August opened civil rights investigations into 5 Republican-led states that prohibit mask requireds in schools, stating such actions might violate the rights of students with impairments. Last month, the firm sent nearly $150,000 to the School Board of Alachua County in Florida after the state kept pay for school board members because the district requires masks.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

The Biden administration on Tuesday purchased Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to stop using the states federal pandemic funding on a pair of new education grants that can only be directed to schools without mask requireds. In a letter to Ducey, the Treasury Department said the grant programs are “not an allowable use” of the federal funding. Its the current effort by the Biden administration to push back versus Republican guvs who have opposed mask mandates and otherwise sought to utilize federal pandemic funding to advance their own agendas.

Numerous states have actually banned mask mandates in schools Arizona is one of at least 8 states that have laws or executive orders prohibiting mask requirements in public schools. The Education Department in August opened civil rights investigations into five Republican-led states that forbid mask mandates in schools, stating such actions might break the rights of students with specials needs. Last month, the agency sent out nearly $150,000 to the School Board of Alachua County in Florida after the state withheld pay for school board members because the district needs masks.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law several steps that restricted the power of city governments to enact COVID-19 protection procedures.

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C.J. Karamargin, a spokesperson for Ducey, said its “confusing” why anyone would oppose the grant programs. “Following the obstacles during the 2020 academic year, everybodys main focus need to be equipping families with the resources to get their kids caught up. Thats precisely what this program does– offering families in require the opportunity to gain access to educational resources like tutoring, childcare, transportation and more,” Karamargin stated in a declaration.

Education supporters have filed a suit over Arizonas ban and a number of other state laws that limit the power of local federal governments and school districts to impose COVID-19 requirements. Those policies dispute with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises universal mask wearing for students and instructors in the class. The CDC released the assistance due to the fast spread of the highly contagious delta variation of COVID-19.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Ducey, a Republican, developed the grant programs in August to put pressure on school districts that have actually defied the states restriction on mask mandates. He released a $163 million grant program utilizing federal funding he controls, however he made it available just to schools without mask mandates. He likewise established a $10 million program that offers vouchers to families at public schools that need masks or that tell trainees to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 direct exposure. In the letter, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said the conditions “undermine evidence-based efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.” He asked the state to discuss how it will “remediate” the problem within 30 days.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law numerous steps that limited the power of regional governments to enact COVID-19 security steps.

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