Bailey calls on Governor to explain authority of state board to enforce mask mandate

Following the State Superintendent of Education’s sudden move to strip a private school’s state-recognition because the school hadn’t agreed to enforce the Pritzker administration’s most recent school mask mandate, State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) is calling on the Governor to explain why he believes his administration has that authority to levy that punishment.

Bailey specifically pointed to House Bill 2789. The legislation would have started a process for the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt the process and rules for schools that do not comply with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) mandates created when the Governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency. The legislation was not passed by the Senate and thus did not become law. Bailey noted that the associations representing school administrators, along with groups representing private schools, all opposed the bill.

“I do not believe that state statute grants this authority to ISBE or IDPH, and I think the legislation they were trying to push through is evidence of that,” said Sen. Darren Bailey. “It’s also very frightening to me that the administration would lash out so quickly against a school and its students without any real due process. This is just another example of the Governor’s completely unilateral approach, ignoring the voices and input of school boards, parents, and even the state legislature.”

Bailey sent a letter to Governor Pritzker outlining his concerns and requesting that the Governor, in light of the failure of HB2789, explain how ISBE has the authority to strip recognition from a private school over failure to comply with a mask mandate.

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