Does HB 4135 signal that ISBE doesn’t have authority to punish schools for defying state mask mandate?

A new bill would give the Illinois State Board of Education the authority to issue, withhold and revoke state recognition of schools who fail to comply with COVID-19 health regulations. Notably, the bill has not yet been introduced to a committee, meaning beyond being drafted and introduced, there has been no legislative activity on the measure. The…

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Schools to continue mask rules despite legal challenge from Missouri Attorney General

The schools in Gov. Mike Parson’s hometown will continue to require students, teachers and staff to wear masks indoors despite a lawsuit filed by the Missouri attorney general challenging public school mask mandates across the state. The Bolivar R-1 Board of Education in Polk County voted in a special meeting this month to require masks as a…

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CUSD No. 4 School Board votes to make masks mandatory, but fight with state ‘has just begun’

MENDON — Jessica Humke struggled to spit the word out of her mouth. “Yes.” Humke and six other members of the Community Unit School District No. 4 School Board voted Wednesday night at Unity Elementary School to follow Gov. JB Pritzker’s announcement this month that masks are required for students, teachers and staff at pre-K…

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State school board gets pushback on mask mandate; parents, school officials argue for local control

SPRINGFIELD — A capacity crowd packed into the Illinois State Board of Education room on Wednesday as many more stood outside the building to protest the state’s new indoor mask mandate in all public and nonpublic schools. “I’m so tired of hearing how resilient our kids are. Resilience is something you choose,” said Ruby Johnson,…

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Central School Board reverses course, unanimously votes to uphold mask mandate

CAMP POINT, Ill. — Central’s teachers spoke. Central’s School Board listened. Six days after voting 3-2 to ignore Gov. JB Pritzker’s mask mandate for students, teachers and staff — regardless of vaccination status — the Central School Board reversed course Wednesday night. It voted 7-0 to make masks mandatory in all four school buildings in…

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CUSD No. 4 (Mendon) School Board deadlocked, optional masks stay in place

MENDON, Ill. – The Community Unit School District No. 4 School Board didn’t muster the votes to overturn its decision to remain mask optional. On August 4, the Board voted 5-2 to defy Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s decree that masks would be required for all students, teachers and staff for Pre-K to 12 students across Illinois…

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Hannibal Schools to remain mask optional

HANNIBAL, Mo. – After 100 minutes of comments from patrons of the Hannibal School District, the school board maintained its policy of masks optional for students during the upcoming school year. More than a dozen people spoke on both sides of the issue but in the end, the board voted 6 to 1 in favor…

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Quincy students without masks getting excused absences this week, unexcused absences next week

QUINCY — Students who arrive at Quincy schools without a mask for classes on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday will be sent home and given an excused absence. Those absences become unexcused next week. Superintendent Roy Webb outlined the Quincy School District’s plans for dealing with students without masks in a Facebook post on Sunday. The…

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Quincy School Board votes to uphold Webb’s recommendation to follow mask mandate

QUINCY — The Quincy School Board voted 5-2 on Wednesday morning to follow Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandate for pre K-12 students, which was also the recommendation of Quincy Superintendent Roy Webb. Sayeed Ali, Shelley Arns, Rachel Petty, Carol Nichols and LaTonya Brock voted for the mandate. Richard McNay and Jim Whitfield opposed it. About…

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Quincy Public Schools: Mask off, mask on

QUINCY – The Quincy School District appears to be on its way to following Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Pre K-12 mask mandate for Illinois schools due to an increase in COVID Delta Variant cases. In an e-mail to his leadership team, Quincy Superintendent Roy Webb said “QPS will follow the executive order of the Governor.” David…

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CUSD No. 4 School Board’s mask-optional vote goes against Pritzker’s edict

MENDON, Ill. — The Community Unit School District No. 4 School Board voted 5-2 during a special meeting Wednesday night to make masks optional for students during the 2021-22 school year. The board’s vote defies Gov. JB Pritzker’s Tuesday announcement that masks are required for students, teachers and staff at pre-K through 12th grade schools…

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Masks back on for all schools, most Illinoisans, public health leaders recommend

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced it was adopting new, stricter masking guidelines issued by the federal government, which call for universal masking at schools even for vaccinated students and staff. IDPH was also asking for indoor masking of the general public in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission. By their definition, that is almost…

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