For Immediate Release
Media contact for PSBA:
Chief Communications Officer
Pennsylvania School Boards Association
PSBA Responds to Mask Mandates in Pennsylvania’s Public Schools
Mechanicsburg, PA (August 31, 2021) – The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is responding to today’s announcement from Governor Wolf, instituting a statewide mask mandate for all K-12 students while in school buildings. PSBA understands the order is in response to the spread of the Delta variant and is being made by Acting Health Secretary Beam under her authority to issue health directives. The association will be reminding districts of their legal obligation related to the directive and urging them to consult with their local district solicitor on compliance.
PSBA believes that the state should not impose or prohibit specific school health and safety measures and has maintained throughout the pandemic that locally-elected school boards remain best-suited for the decision-making and oversight of school operations, including the health and well-being of their students and staff. The Wolf administration and legislative leaders have previously supported that the operations of the schools should rest with local school leaders. Throughout the summer months, school boards across the state have been doing the hard work, conducting discussions and seeking community input. They have dedicated substantial amounts of work toward the opening of schools and have introduced their return-to-school plans with the new academic year already underway in most districts.
“We are confident that local school boards remain the best decision-makers for their communities,” said Nathan Mains, PSBA’s chief executive officer. “Our members remain committed to the health and safety of their students and staff and while they have welcomed the expertise and guidance of state and federal agencies, they are in the best position to evaluate and promptly respond to the ever-evolving conditions in their own communities,” he added.
PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA was the first school boards association established in the United States.