Kentucky Lawmakers Remove Mask Mandate in Schools

During the third and final day of the special legislative session, lawmakers voted to remove the mask mandate in public schools and care centers. Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, but was overridden by the Republican-led legislature.

Posted: Sep 10, 2021 4:22 AM
Updated: Sep 10, 2021 2:57 PM

The statewide mask mandate for public schools in Kentucky has been removed.

At the end of the special session, lawmakers passed a bill that turned the decision for requiring face coverings to local school boards.

Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the measure, but the Republican-led legislature overruled the action. Now, school leaders have exactly one week to decide to keep the masks or make them optional.

Lawmakers say the measure will provide more flexibility to cope with outbreaks. They also say it will limit remote instruction to a particular school, grade, or classroom, instead of closing the entire district.

Some local Kentucky schools have already decided they are keeping the policy in place, but others are still receiving input. 44News spoke with one mom, who says with the rapid rise in cases, this decision should be a no-brainer if schools want to stay open.

"I'm ready for him to have some normalcy. And if wearing a mask is a part of our new normalcy, so he can still be a kid and enjoy high school, so be it," says Krista Beck.

Districts have five business days to decide before the bill is officially voided.

Another bill passed that imposed a prolonged ban on any statewide mask mandate, leaving masking decisions up to local governments and businesses.

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It was another chilly start across the Tri-State; while we only dipped as low as 43° in Evansville, many others across the Tri-State fell into the upper 30s earlier this morning. The cool air didn't linger long however, temperatures quickly reached back into the mid 70s across the region this afternoon - higher pressure camped out over the southeastern quarter of the country will continue to keep the skies above the Tri-State clear while gradually driving temperatures higher over the next few days. Despite our anticipated southerly winds this evening, you may still want to grab a jacket before your head out to dinner; after seeing a temperature near 64° around dinnertime, we'll fall off toward the mid to upper 50s by 10 o'clock. Overnight lows will again dwindle into the mid to low 40s for the majority of the Ohio Valley early Tuesday morning.
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