Arizona Governor Blocks Funding For Schools Mandating Masks

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, announced he will not provide funds to school districts that attempt to impose mask requirements for students in the state.

The governor said that district and charter schools in Arizona that follow state laws will be eligible for $163 million in grant funding that is intended to boost per-student spending.

But Ducey, in a statement, said that schools that impose mandates that go against state laws—including mask mandates—won’t receive the funding. According to the governor’s website, Arizona doesn’t mandate masks, vaccinations, or vaccine passports.

“Parents are in the driver’s seat, and it’s their right to make decisions that best fit the needs of their children. Safety recommendations are welcomed and encouraged–mandates that place more stress on students and families aren’t,” the governor said in a statement Tuesday. “These grants acknowledge efforts by schools and educators that are following state laws and keeping their classroom doors open for Arizona’s students.”

Ducey has been at odds with state Democrats and other state leaders such as Superintendent Kathy Hoffman, some city leaders, and school districts over mask mandates. Some school districts in the state started imposing mask mandates on children, ostensibly following recommendations on masking handed down by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month. – READ MORE