Missouri treasurer cracks down on schools with mask mandates

Missouri

High school students at school, wearing N95 Face masks. Sitting in a classroom.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s treasurer no longer will help schools refinance bond debt unless they promise not to require face masks.

Missourinet first reported Republican Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick’s new policy.

Fitzpatrick’s spokeswoman says the policy is in response to Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s pledge to sue schools and local health departments if they enforce COVID-19 health mandates.

A Treasurer’s Office program helps school districts get lower interest rates on bond debt.

Districts risk higher rates if superintendents don’t certify that they’ll comply with Schmitt’s demands. But a spokeswoman for St. Louis-area nonprofit EducationPlus says school boards, not superintendents, make decisions on coronavirus rules.

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