PHOENIX - Another Arizona school district, Phoenix Elementary, has approved a mandatory mask rule for students, staff and visitors to help curb the spread of COVID-19 despite a recently enacted state law barring school districts from requiring mask-wearing.
On August 2, the Phoenix Elementary’s governing board approved a requirement that included limited opt-out for medical reasons.
"We know that our children learn best in person and we will implement mitigation strategies that help to minimize the spread of illnesses, reduce the need for quarantining, and avoid classroom and school closures," a district statement said.
Phoenix Elementary has 14 schools primarily in central Phoenix. The district’s more than 5,000 students begin classes on August 5.
Phoenix Union High School District approved a mask requirement last week. Phoenix Union began the 2021-2022 school year on Monday.
It’s not clear whether the state’s prohibition is now in force.
The prohibition against masking mandates by school districts was included in budget legislation enacted in late June. The legislation doesn’t take effect until Sept. 29 though it included a provision saying the prohibition is retroactive.
A legislator who supports the prohibition has asked government lawyers to say when it takes effect.
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