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.