House Republicans Deliver School Mask-Optional Bill to Youngkin

The House of Delegates passed SB 739, which will require schools to make masks optional. After Republicans were surprised by bipartisan votes in the Senate last week to amend the bill to include the mask clause and to pass the bill, Republicans hustled the bill through the necessary House committee hearing and through three required floor sessions, including a two-minute-long pro-forma session on Sunday. By 1 p.m. on Monday, Republicans had already delivered the bill to Governor Glenn Youngkin, who has committed to adding an emergency clause to make it take effect immediately.
After Youngkin adds the clause, both chambers can pass the bill and emergency clause with simple majority votes, setting up the bill to be law and in effect potentially by the end of the week, House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) said on The John Fredericks Show Monday morning.

“Once we adopt his [Youngkin’s] amendments, he’s already signed it and sent it back, it’ll be the law, and we can put this behind us,” Kilgore told The Virginia Star’s publisher, John Fredericks.

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Arizona House Committee Clears Bill to Prohibit Mask Mandates for Minors Without Parental Consent

The Arizona House Government and Elections Committee advanced a bill that will prohibit any public or charter school mask mandate for children under 18 without parental consent.

The legislation, sponsored by Representative Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), moved out of the committee on a partisan vote, with all Democrats opposing the measure.

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Minnesota Principal Directs Teachers to Suspend Maskless Students

The principal of Edina High School has directed teachers to remove maskless students from the classroom and suspend those who accumulate multiple “violations” in the same day.

Principal Andy Beaton warned parents in a Monday email that staff will be “ramping up” enforcement of the school district’s mask mandate.

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Arizona Sues Treasury Department over Federal Money Being Used for Schools Without Mask Rules

Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey is suing the Biden administration over its demand that the state stop sending millions in federal COVID-19 relief money on schools without mask requirements or that close due to virus outbreaks.

The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Phoenix follows the Treasury Department demanding last week that Ducey either restructure the $163 million program to eliminate restrictions the agency says undermine public health recommendations or face a demand for repayment, according to the Associated Press.

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Teachers Union, Health Care Group Back Mandatory Masks for Florida Schools

The Florida Education Association (FEA) and the Committee to Protect Health Care are both supporting the idea of making masks required in Florida’s public schools, and blasted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his efforts in opposition to such a mandate.

On Wednesday, the largest teachers’ union in Florida said individual school districts should be able to make their own decisions.

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Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Backs Masks in Schools

Two women at table together, wearing masks

A group known as the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) representing over 2,500 pediatricians across the state released a statement Thursday backing the use of masks in schools. 

With the delta variant causing a influx of COVID-19 cases across the state, Thursday’s announcement resembles the FCAAP’s recommendations from this time last year before the 2020-2021 school year but with the inclusion of vaccination protocols.

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