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Tri-Point CUSD 6J

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Governor’s Executive Order Mandates Masks in Schools

Governor’s Executive Order Mandates Masks in Schools

 

Governor Pritzker’s August 4 Executive Order mandating masks in all K-12 public schools to start the school year forced our school district to reverse course on the subject of masking with the opening of school plans. This Executive Order effectively bypassed the authority of our local school board to adopt mask-optional plans for the upcoming school year. The Governor cited both the potential legal liability exposure for any local school board disregarding the mask mandate and the authority of ISBE to change recognition status of a school district and negatively impact school district funding as possible means to enforce the mask mandate. The Governor also said he would take action to enforce the mandate as needed. 

 

While we believe in local control, we rely on expertise and clear guidance from public health officials and also the legal guidance from our school attorneys. Once an executive order is issued, it has the effect of law, and our school board needs to work with our own legal counsel to comply with it. Failure to do so could result in sanctions against the district and expose the district, its employees, and the board to unnecessary liability.

 

We know that everyone involved with education is passionate about the steps necessary to safely return to in-person learning this fall. We know you are frustrated and tired as you face changing guidance and emotional community members who have strong opinions on both sides of the issue about masking. We will continue to work on your behalf to advocate for a return to local control on this issue and to share your feelings and views with both ISBE and the Governor.

 

Thank you in advance for your understanding as we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.