MA board of Elementary & Secondary education approve statewide school mask mandate

BOSTON (AP/WLNE) – The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Tuesday to give the state’s education commissioner the authority to mandate mask wearing in all K-12 schools for students and staff.

The board voted 9 to 1 to allow the mandate.

Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a statewide mask mandate for students and teachers in K-12 schools until COVID-19 vaccination rates increase among eligible students.

Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said Friday he planed to ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Tuesday to grant him authority to require masks in public schools through Oct. 1.

The mandate would apply inside schools for children 5 and older. Students with certain medical conditions or behavioral needs would be exempt.

After Oct. 1, middle and high schools with high enough vaccination rates would be allowed to lift mask requirements for inoculated students and staff.

At least 80% of a school’s students and employees would need to be vaccinated to make the change.

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Our Schools