Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
As a member of a local school board, I get updates on COVID incidents in the district. Usually, several groups of kids are quarantined because someone in their vicinity was exposed. All the school can do is to send them home. We have no other mitigating tools at our disposal. We cannot mandate masks, even though children under 12 cannot get vaccinated.
Now several of the Republican legislators are demanding that Gov. Ducey punish those districts that mandate masks despite the law. They want to take federal money away from those districts or allow more people to take advantage of more “educational scholarships” to private schools. The public schools already do not receive enough money.
School districts want to follow the law, but the health of the students is a priority. Schools know that in-person learning is preferable to digital, but that cannot be accomplished if a good percentage of students are being quarantined because of COVID. The CDC and science have shown that wearing masks can help mitigate the virus. School districts should be able to make those decisions, not the Legislature.
Please keep this in mind as you vote for your choices for the Legislature in the November 2022 election.