Marana School District set to hold special meeting tonight over mask mandate

After Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper struck down several laws wedged into the Arizona Senate budget reconciliation bill, public school systems are now free to mandate masks on campus.

The Marana Unified School District Governing Board is hosting a virtual meeting tonight on Zoom to discuss extending the district's mask mandate on all campuses. Board member John Lewandowski called the emergency meeting on Sept 27.

“Now that the law has been deemed unconstitutional, I wanted to give the board the chance to discuss it,” Lewandowski said. “This is something I care about and I want to move forward.”

Watch the Marana governing board meeting livestream on their YouTube channel:

Flowing Wells, Amphitheater and Tucson Unified school districts quickly chose to continue with indoor mask requirements.

Amphitheater Superintendent Todd Jaeger said they are continuing to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Pima County Health Department and requiring masks.

The CDC recently released a study co-authored with Pima County showing that K-12 schools without mask requirements were 3.5 times more likely to experience a COVID outbreak. The study used data from 999 public schools in Pima and Maricopa County.

Senate Bill 1819 was passed with a variety of non-budget-related provisions, including the prohibition on mask mandates. Judge Cooper said these provisions were not pertinent to the budget and therefore unconstitutional in her ruling on Sept 27. This ruling came two days before the laws were scheduled to go into effect on Sept 29.