The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal mask-wearing in school settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“By discouraging families and school districts from following this guidance, the conditions referenced above undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the Treasury Department wrote. “Accordingly, these school programs as currently structured are ineligible uses of (Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds).”
Ducey’s chief of staff on Friday pushed back against the Biden administration’s claims.
“We think that this program is aboveboard,” Daniel Ruiz said. “We’re going to defend that program and any other future program that is designed to get kids caught back up and mitigate the learning loss" that has taken place over the last year.
Arizona has already received about half of the $4.2 billion awarded to the state under the 2021 coronavirus relief bill.
Christie reported from Phoenix.