The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday blocked Arizona Governor Doug Ducey from utilizing federal COVID-19 aide toward grants for school systems in the state that do not have mask mandates.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo penned a letter to Ducey, informing the Republican governor that the grants were “not a permissible use” of the relief aide.
“Here in Arizona, we trust families to make decisions that are best for their children. It’s clear that President Biden doesn’t feel the same. He’s focused on taking power away from American families by issuing restrictive and dictatorial mandates for his own political gain,” Ducey said in response to the decision.
After the many challenges of last year, it should be our top priority to get our kids caught up. That’s exactly what this program does — it gives families in need the opportunity to access critical educational resources. Why is the president against that? 2/2
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) October 5, 2021
“After the many challenges of last year, it should be our top priority to get our kids caught up. That’s exactly what this program does — it gives families in need the opportunity to access critical educational resources. Why is the president against that?”
Previously, Ducey established two programs aimed at returning students in Arizona to in-person learning.
The COVID-19 Educational Recovery Benefit program provided up to $7,000 per student for parents “who are facing financial and educational barriers due to unnecessary closures and school mandates and that are not in compliance with the provisions set forth in state law.”
Additionally, Ducey added $163 million in grant funding through the Education Plus-Up Grant Program, aimed at boosting per pupil spending for school systems that did not have mask or vaccine requirements.
“Parents have worked tirelessly over the past year and a half to keep their kids on track,” said Governor Ducey at the time. “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”
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