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Federal Officials Scrutinizing Oklahoma School Mask Ban Law
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Oklahoma’s superintendent of schools says districts should be allowed to enact mask requirements, which are prohibited by state law.

State law prohibits school districts from requiring masks, but Oklahoma’s superintendent of schools contends that districts should have “the autonomy” to impose them.

“School districts deserve the autonomy to enact policies that protect our schoolchildren and staff from COVID exposure and infection,” Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said in a statement.

  
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Hofmeister made the remarks after U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona warned her and Gov. Kevin Stitt that the ban may violate the American Rescue Plan, which provided $123 billion to the nation’s schools to help them get back into the classroom.

Cardona sent similar letters to several other states that enacted similar mask bans.

Attempts to reach Stitt were not immediately successful. Stitt’s spokesperson told the Tulsa World that the governor had not yet seen the letter.

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In a July 2020 vote, the state Board of Education rejected Hofmeister’s recommendation for a statewide mask mandate in schools. He explained the importance of vaccinations and mask-wearing for keeping schools open.

According to Hofmeister, Ronald Reagan was right when he said that those closest to a problem are best suited to solve it.





 

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